Sada-e-Watan Sydney ™

Premier of New South Wales Honourable Barry O’Farrell MP hosted a 3rd annual Iftar Dinner at the Parliament House
(Coverage by: Syed Zafar Hussain,Editor-in-Chief Sada-e-Watan Sydney)

To Celebrate Interfaith Harmony, an Iftar Dinner hosted by The Honourable Barry O’Farrell MP Premier of NSW, took place at Parliament House on Thursday,25th July 2013.

The Chairperson of the Community Relations Commission, Dr.Stepan Kerkyasharian was Master of Ceremonies. Dr. Stepan Kerkyasharian appreciates Premier Hon. Barry O’Farrell for continuing the tradition of Iftar dinner and said Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, Hindu and Christian living peacefully in the multicultural New South Wales. Dr. Stepan Kerkyasharian said on the Government Level, We encourage inter-cultural and inter-faith activities that help bring diverse groups of people together.

The Imam Jasmin Bekric of Bosnian Islamic Council of Australia Recited Quran with English translation.
Due to sudden personal reason, His Eminence Dr. Ibrahim Abu Mohammed Grand Mufti of Australia could not attend the Function and unable to Address the Iftar Party.

His Grace Bishop Antoine Tarabay, Maronite Eparch 0f Australia Speak about Multicultural Society of Australia and said We respect Islam and all other Faith.

Ms Widyan Al Ubudy of Community Relations Commission presents Vote of Thanks after dinner, before serving of Sweets with Tea and Coffee.

The Iftar Dinner to Celebrate Interfaith Harmony was attended by Hon.Tony Issa MP,Hon.David Andrew ELLIOTT MP,Hon.Barbara Perry MP,Hon. Linda Burney MP,Consul General of USA Niels Marquardt,

Consul General of Pakistan Mr. Abdul Aziz Uqaili, Consul General of Lebanon Mr. George Bitar Ghanem,Consul General of the Arab Republic of Egypt Mr. Ayman Aly Kamel,Consul General of China Li Huaxin,

Consul General of India Mr. Arun Kumar Goel, Consul General of Philippine Anne Jalando-on Louis, Diplomat's representing a number of foreign governments, Deputy Chairperson NSW Community Relations Commission Cav.Felice Montrone,President Lebanese Muslim Association Samir Dandan,President Pakistan Australia Business Council Iftikhar Rana, President AFIC Hafez Kassem, Dr Yadu Singh, President Council of Indian Australians Inc, High Government officials, Ambassador of Egypt H.E. Hassan El-Laithy, Shafiqur Rahman Khan, Chairman Australian Islamic Cultural Centre (AICC), Managing Director & CEO of Arab Bank Joseph Rizk,Members of Parliament, Selected Media Personalities including Syed Zafar Hussain, Editor-in-Chief Sada-e-Watan Sydney, Commissioners of  the Government agencies, Students from School & University, Religious Scholars & Community Leaders from diverse ethnic backgrounds.

At the Iftar, there were not only leaders from the Muslim Community but also leaders from other faiths as well as politicians. There were 150 dignitaries who attended the Iftar at NSW Parliament House Strangers Room.

After some interesting discussions during dinner, the NSW Premier The Hon Barry O’Farrell gave a very well versed speech in which he told of the contributions of Muslims to Australia. Premier The Hon Barry O’Farrell said that It is an honour as Premier to join this distinguished company of religious leaders at this important time in the Muslim religious calendar. We are here together from many backgrounds in support of our fellow Australians. Tonight’s gathering is indicative of the importance to NSW and to my Government of creating a harmonious community. Premier said that the great tradition in New South Wales of holding a government inter-faith Iftar dinner during Ramadan.

Premier Barry O’Farrell began his speech by thanking those who came for dinner and wished them a "Ramadan Mubarak." He said "Ramadan is a holy month that teaches us about the struggles of disadvantage people."
Hon. O’Farrell stated "It is the 3rd Iftar dinner I have hosted at Parliament House and represents a good tradition where prominent Muslims have an Iftar with people from various faiths. He said I think in this way Muslim and non-Muslim communities can come closer to each other."

Honourable Barry O’Farrell MP went on to express his disappointment at the unfortunate events of last year when some Muslims were involved in violent protests in Sydney. Though he was quick to praise and thank the Muslim community leaders who condemned the riots and let the public know that Islam is a religion of Peace.

Premier The Hon Barry O’Farrell then quoted his Minister for Citizenship and Communities Hon. Victor Dominello who said “Other Australian states have a lot of wealth and resources inside the ground but in New South Wales, we have our greatest asset above the ground and that asset is the 142 different ethnic communities living together here in NSW.”

Premier of New South Wales Honourable Barry O’Farrell MP

The Chairperson of the Community Relations Commission Dr.Stepan Kerkyasharian

Mr.Warren Duncan of CRC with his Friend


Iftikhar Rana President of Pakistan Australian Business Council, Ahmad Salim of An-Nahar Newspaper and Syed Talal of Sada-e-Watan

Consul General of Pakistan Abdul Aziz Uqaili and Premier of New South Wales Hon. Barry O’Farrell

Consul General of Pakistan Abdul Aziz Uqaili and Premier of New South Wales Hon. Barry O’Farrell

Hon.Tony Issa MP, Syed Zafar Hussain, Premier Hon.Barry O’Farrell and Mr. Iftikhar Rana

The Chairperson of the CRC, Dr.Stepan Kerkyasharian & President Lebanese Muslim Association Samir Dandan

Hon. Tony Issa MP of Granville,Syed Zafar Hussain, Premier Hon.Barry O’Farrell and Mr.Iftikhar Rana

Consul General of USA Niels Marquardt,President LMA Samir Dandan,Premier Barry O’Farrell and His Grace Bishop Antoine Tarabay


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