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Dialogue Institute- El Paso organized a Traditional Ramadan Iftar Dinner for Religious Leaders and Clergy

The Dialogue Institute of the Southwest – El Paso branch organized a Traditional Ramadan Iftar Dinner for clergy and religious leaders this past Thursday, July 16th. Around 35 guests from different denominations and beliefs gathered to converse, enjoy dinner, and become involve in dialogue with each other. A presentation on Fasting and Ramadan was given, and in the end, guests shared their thoughts and remarks.

Fasting was the most popular word this Thursday evening at the Dialogue Institute of the Southwest – El Paso location. We gave a detailed presentation on the importance of fasting in the Islamic culture, especially in Ramadan time. The specific social gathering was quite an interesting one, with many clergymen and women from a multitude of denominations were present, sharing, and dialoging over fasting.

After an informed presentation of the month of Ramadan a few Roman Catholic priests, representatives of synagogues, Muslim laypersons, and pastors enjoyed delicious Turkish and local dishes with each other, some for the first time. These guests enjoyed well-intended conversations with each other over a glass of hot Turkish tea and even some of our famous Turkish baklava.
Once the dinner was concluded, guests were invited  to speak on their thoughts of fasting. Fr. Arturo talked about how fasting leads us to by mystics in search for God. Dr. Aurolyn Luykx from the Unitarian Universalist Church shared her experience fasting in a lent-like fashion much like the catholic tradition, and how that lead her thoughts to switch focus from the fast to God. Other Influential guests included:

Msgr. Arturo Banuelas, Priest of St. Marks Catholic Church

Dr. Ann Horak, Director Religious Studies at UTEP

Sr. Elizabeth Swartz, Superintendent of Catholic Schools of El Paso

Hal Marcus, Temple Mt. Sinai

Bobby Byrd, Buddhist Priest

Rev. Deborah Clugy- De Soto, Presbyterian Church

Dr. Aurolyn Luykx, Unitarian Universalist Church of El Paso

David Marcus

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