Last Friday, a great new friend Ünal took me to Kugulu Park in Kizilay, Ankara to participate in an Iftar dinner. A special guest, Professor Dr. Ihsan Eliacik was also there to break fast as well (he’s the man in the blue button down being interviewed in my photos). Right at around 8:27PM, I witnessed and participated in my very first Iftar dinner with Muslim Turkish people in this park. At first, I only stood around the outskirts of the mini communal dinners since I’m not Muslim and I didn’t want to disrespect their holy event in any way. But minutes after people started to break fast and start sharing their food, people invited me and Ünal to take our shoes off, sit with them on their rugs, and eat their food together. Watching friends, family, and strangers communally break fast was a truly beautiful sight!

Professor Dr. Ihsan Eliacik

Professor Dr. Ihsan Eliacik

This man stood up to say a Muslim prayer, after which people started to eat together.

This man stood up to say a Muslim prayer, after which people started to eat together.

Iftar food

Iftar food

People giving out soup to others for Iftar

People giving out soup to others for Iftar

In memory of a Turkish young man who died in a protest a few weeks ago

In memory of a Turkish young man who died in a protest a few weeks ago

Ünal and me during Iftar dinner