ibusinesslines.com July 23, 2017

White House forgoes Ramadan dinner for first time in two decades

26 June 2017, 09:55 | Laverne Osborne

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The annual tradition started in 1996 when Hillary Clinton had hosted a Ramadan Eid celebration dinner.

Balloons, body paint, joy and mourning - across the world Sunday, Muslims gathered to celebrate the end of the holy month of Ramadan, and the festivities took almost as many shapes as the places they were held.

On Saturday, Saudi Arabia's Supreme Court announced this year's Eid al-Fitr would begin on Sunday, June 25, according to state-run Saudi News Agency. The iftar dinner at the White House is usually attended by prominent members of the Muslim community, diplomats and Congress members.

"Now, as they commemorate Eid with family and friends, they carry on the tradition of helping neighbours and breaking bread with people from all walks of life". Muslims use a slightly different calendar to mark their yearly celebrations, so Ramadan gets moved forward by 11 days each year. Many indulge in the final celebrations for Eid with last-minute shopping for clothes and making final preparations for sheer khurma, the special kheer made on the day of Eid.

It's not the first time the administration has broken the White House's Ramadan tradition.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly rejected a request by his department's office of religion and global affairs to hold an event for the holiday.

In the White House, Trump has attempted to ban travel to the USA from several Muslim-majority countries.

"With Muslims around the world, the United States renews our commitment to honor these values".

Video: With more than three million views, the Indonesian music video "Hari Raya" by iamNEETA, Najwa Latif, Deanna Hussin & Mimi Haris casts a modern pop culture light on a traditional Muslim event.

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