The traditions of the Old City for the holy month of Muslims and the event organized on the rooftop of Casa Nova with the city representatives.
In a scene that reflects the spirit of brotherhood and the real possibility of coexistence between Christians and Muslims in Jerusalem, the Custos of the Holy Land has welcomed different personalities of the city to share an iftar, the dinner that breaks the daily fast of Ramadan. On June 1, this traditional meal was consumed in the roof garden of the Casa Nova, a pilgrim reception center founded by the Franciscans in the 16th century and located in the heart of the Old City of Jerusalem, a few meters from the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre.
To organize the evening and to welcome those present was Br Ibrahim Faltas, director of Casa Nova in the Holy City.
Br IBRAHIM FALTAS, ofm
Director of Casa Nova Jerusalem
"This is a month that brings everyone together: every person who came here tonight did it with the heart and with the desire to meet. I think it's an ideal evening of Ramadan. Diplomats, politicians, the governor of Jerusalem and representatives of the various Churches attended. "
Ministers of the Palestinian government, diplomats from Italy and the European Union, Heads of Churches and also representatives of culture and entertainment.
"An important meeting - underlined at the end of the dinner the Father Custos Brother Francesco Patton - which represents an extension of the meeting that St Francis of Assisi had with the Sultan in 1219.
"An evening - continued the Minister for the Affairs of Jerusalem Adnan Al-Husseini - which shows the character of integration that distinguishes the Palestinian people.
Minister of Business of Jerusalem - Palestine
" We're giving a very meaningful message tonight. It is an ordinary gathering, but it is very important that it happens during Ramadan, in the center of Jerusalem, bringing together Christians and Muslims. People who populate this land who enjoy the company and the good relationships that bind them, giving a unique and shared message. "
The sense of community and generosity towards the most needy are in fact two characteristic features of Ramadan, which falls in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and is the fourth of the five pillars of Islam.
During the days of Ramadan the Muslim quarter of the old city of Jerusalem comes alive in an explosion of colors and lights, as well as culinary traditions, renewed only in this period, like the qatayef.
"The qatayef are most typical of Ramadan. It is tradition to eat them for dessert after the iftar and they are really famous ".
Or like some drinks, as Anwar tells us, who inherited the management of the family cafe, opened by his grandfather in 1927.
"We prepare many juices here, but the most characteristic of the Ramadan period are those with flavors of lemon and mint, tamarind, almonds or carrots. These are the ones preferred by those who fasts during the day, because they help digestion ... so they are the most popular ".
Ramadan ends on the feast day called Aid Al Fitr, at the end of the lunar phase, which in 2018 will fall on June 14th.