Continuing its endeavours and commitment to celebrate its diverse communities, Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board recently held the third annual Diversity Forum.
The objective of the Diversity Forum is to provide a platform for ethnic communities in the local board area to come together and celebrate their unique cultures and heritage.
For this year’s event, the local board partnered with the Pearls of the Islands Foundation to host an Iftar dinner which was attended by more than 120 ethnic communities from the local board area.
Local board Chair Lotu Fuli said that the event was very timely, marking the beginning of Ramadan for our Muslim communities.
“With everything that has happened in Christchurch, our board wanted to offer a platform for our Muslim communities to engage with the wider community, so they can learn about the Muslim culture but more importantly, the people by fostering a sense of unity and belonging.”
Local board member Dr Ashraf Choudhary, led the event with the Director of Pearl of the Islands Foundation Inc. Mr Abdul Celil Gelim. Later in the evening, Quran was recited by Imam Murat Safa.
“The beautiful celebration of Ramadan reminded us that we need to work together more than ever before to create social harmony and remove prejudice and racism,” Ms Fuli added.
Ms Tayyaba Khan from the Khadija Leadership Network also shared her thoughts and experiences about interfaith dialogue and stressed the importance of ‘interchanging personality, ideas and cultures to build interfaith dialogue'.
Guests were also presented with information about Auckland Council local body elections, to be held in October 2019 with members from ethnic communities encouraged to think about becoming a candidate. They were also offered them information about the roles and responsibilities of councillors and local board members.