The Iftar of the Franciscans with the Muslims in Bethany

The Iftar of the Franciscans with the Muslims in Bethany

The Custody of the Holy Land has again organized an Iftar this year with the local Muslim community in Bethany. This is the meal which is eaten after sunset, to break the daily fast of Ramadan.

On Wednesday, April 3, the Custos of the Holy Land, fra Francesco Patton, with the Vicar, fra Ibrahim Faltas, and the friars of the community of Bethany, welcomed the civil and religious authorities, including the Mayor of Bethany, Khalil Abu Rish, and various representatives of the mosque. The Italian Consul-General, Domenico Bellato, representatives from the Al Quds University and the Mosaic Centre were also present.

For some years a project to restore the Byzantine and medieval remains which surround the Tomb of Lazarus has been underway in the town, promoted by the “Pro Terra Sancta” Association, in collaboration with the local community and with the support of the Italian Agency for Cooperation for Development (AICS). Before the meal, there was the possibility of a short visit to the area where this work is in progress.

The meal prepared by the women’s association Al Shorouq contributed to livening up the evening, which was a concrete example of dialogue and encounter that the Custody repeats every year, and particularly significant in this period marked by hatred and suffering.

Carla Benelli