• Tuesday, March 05, 2024

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Ramadan: Communities unite at the Natural History Museum for annual interfaith iftar gathering

The museum’s director, Dr Douglas Gurr, hosted a panel discussion with young people, faith leaders and the chairman of the museum’s board of trustees, Sir Patrick Vallance

Naz Bokhari (L) with Gillian Keegan MP (M) at the first ever iftar at National History Museum on April 17, 2023

By: Sarwar Alam

National faith leaders, government officials and young people came together to celebrate Ramadan and break their fast at the Natural History Museum on Monday (17) in an event organised by the Naz Legacy Foundation.

The annual interfaith event was attended by over 100 young people from all backgrounds with the evening centred around how people can use their faith to protect the natural world and encourage others to become advocates for the planet.

Guests of all faiths, and none, shared in the breaking of the Ramadan fast in the iconic Hintze Hall under Hope the Whale.

There was also a speech from secretary of state for education, Gillian Keegan who spoke of the importance of young voices in tackling the climate crisis and the new department for education National Education Nature Park and Climate Action Awards scheme, led by the museum.

Pannel discussion at the Interfaith Iftar event

The museum’s director, Dr Douglas Gurr, hosted a panel discussion with young people, faith leaders and the chairman of the museum’s board of trustees, Sir Patrick Vallance.

“We are honoured to be chosen as this year’s host for Naz Legacy Foundation’s Youth Interfaith Iftar and provide a space in which faith and nature can interconnect,” said Dr Gurr.

“Now more than ever we are needed to unite for nature. The evening hopes to spark important conversations about the natural world, how we can come together to protect it and inspire the next generation of advocates for the planet.”

At the Youth Interfaith Iftar event

This year’s event was chaired by Miranda Lowe CBE, the Museum’s Principal Curator of Crustacea, and Harris Bokhari OBE, co-founder of the Naz Legacy Foundation and Trustee of the Natural History Museum.

The Naz Legacy Foundation seeks to continue the legacy of the late Naz Bokhari by supporting young people throughout education whilst supporting positive integration into mainstream British society.

Harris Bokhari

Alongside its interfaith iftars, the foundation has a diversity programme that encourages young people from disadvantaged and minority communities to visit cultural institutions and the Naz Bokhari Fellowship which offers young people (16-18) mentoring, skill-building workshops and work placements.

“We are delighted to have hosted Iftar at the Natural History Museum and provide a space for young people to share their thoughts and concerns on the planetary emergency with faith and political leaders,” said Harris Bokhari OBE, Naz Legacy Foundation founder & trustee & Natural History Museum trustee.

“There were some great conversations between the young people on what action needs to be taken to protect our planet and it was inspiring to see how young people were able to come together and develop their own ideas of how they can work together to tackle climate change.”

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