Etobicoke, ON - Last week, MABELLEarts welcomed over 100 refugees and asylum-seekers to the Mabelle Park for our first Iftar Night. At 7:30pm, Mabelle community members welcomed Toronto’s most vulnerable as they stepped off the bus and into the Mabelle Park. Together we sang songs with members of Toronto’s Turkwaz, made art and at sundown broke the fast that signifies the holy month of Ramadan.
This week, Syrian refugees from COSTI and the Arab Community Centre of Toronto, asylum seekers staying in local shelters and members of the Parkdale Activity Recreation Centre will be bused to the Mabelle Park to experience Iftar with the Mabelle neighbourhood. Over the past six months, an overwhelming number of asylum-seekers from all over the world have flooded into Toronto. Mabelle residents are proud to include a number of these individuals and families in what has become a vital tradition in our neighbourhood.
For the past five years, MABELLEarts has been working with community members of all ages and backgrounds to create inter-cultural celebrations that mark the holy month of Ramadan. Each year, residents from a range of cultural backgrounds gather in the Mabelle Park to join their Muslim neighbours as they break their Ramadan fast. In this way, MABELLEarts has helped residents build a strong and vibrant community. Mabelle Park offers a unique and ideal space for a community-centred event, as it was built with and for over 3000 community members over a 10-year- long community-engaged process led by MABELLEarts.
Iftar Nights will take place on Thursday evenings June 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29th (Eid al-Fitr) from 7:00pm - 10:00pm at Mabelle Park, across from 49 Mabelle Avenue, Etobicoke, Ontario M9A 5B1.
“Celebrating Iftar with my neighbours is important because many people here don’t get the opportunity to celebrate Iftar in Canada by visiting family and friends, the way we did at home. In Mabelle Park, we provide everyone who comes with the opportunity to celebrate Iftar as a community; we get to meet new people, join in art activities, and try new food.” – Farah Jibril, Mabelle Youth Leader
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