In a heart-warming gesture, a gurdwara here, the largest in the Gulf region, organised an Iftar where people of different religions and over 30 nationalities broke the Muslim fast together. To demonstrate the spirit of tolerance and giving, the Gurunanak Darbar Gurudwara, hosted about 120 residents of over 30 nationalities to celebrate the holy month of Ramzan and support the Muslim community in breaking their fast in a multicultural setting. As the call to Maghreb (evening) prayers rang inside the gurdwara, Muslims broke their fast over water, dates and Indian dishes. Later, they offered their prayers inside the gurdwara premises in Jebel Ali. Surender Singh Kandhari, chairman of Gurunanak Darbar, was quoted as saying by the Khaleej Times, that the Iftar on Wednesday was to bring people together in the face of adversity.
“In a world that struggles with extremism, the best way to cut it is through creating friendships among different faiths and nationalities and making the difference ourselves. It is only through communication that we can overcome adversities,” said Kandhari, noting that guests varied from Arabs, Ethiopians, Mexicans to Americans and Serbians. Indian Consul General in Dubai Vipul said the gurudwara is doing a great service by getting all communities and religions together. He cited the example of the gurudwara achieving a Guinness World Record by hosting breakfast for 101 nationalities in April.
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“I see today’s Iftar also as a step in that direction,” he was quoted as saying by Gulf News. A regular visitor at the gurdwara, Mitchell Peeters from Belgium, said as a Christian, having Iftar in a Sikh temple makes the experience in UAE more special. “It is a nice experience to enjoy happiness and friendliness of people around you from different faiths and nationalities. It is part of the charm of living in Dubai and adjusting to the customs of the local people,” said Peeters, a UAE resident for four years. Gurunanak Darbar is the largest gurudwara of Gulf region. On a regular basis, the gurudwara serves free meals everyday to visitors, and distributes food packs to labour camps every weekend.