A feast was held in Newport Pagnell to bring Syrian refugees together for a celebratory meal.
The MK Qurbani Charity Feast was organised and hosted by the Milton Keynes Welfare Association (MKWA) which supports the wider community, along with other sponsors.
The meal was held on Sunday, September 2 at the Kakori Restaurant in Newport Pagnell to celebrate Eid Ul Adha, the Muslim festival to mark the completion of the annual pilgrimage, and also welcomed homeless people.
A group of 10 refugee families settled in Milton Keynes were able to gather in one place to enjoy a meal at a top end restaurant which has provided enormous support.
Deputy Mayor of Milton Keynes Sam Crooks welcomed the gathering and said: “On behalf of the whole city of Milton Keynes which I represent I want to welcome our fellow citizens and to look to the future of our city in your hands.”
The Qurbani Charity Feast was organised and hosted by the MKWA with support from Kurshida Mirza, Trubys Garden Tea Room (an interfaith café promoting dialogue), Refugees Welcome MK, the Red Cross, and representatives from the Parks Trust.
Muhammad Choudhury, chair of MKWA, said: “It was an immense pleasure to be able to collect the Qurbani meat from the community for this noble cause. We are delighted to be able to bring such an event with the support of other organisations and the Kakori Restaurant in Milton Keynes, to welcome our recent settlers in MK into our community as well as the homeless in MK. We hope this to be one of many events in the future.”
Eid Ul Adha is time not only to celebrate the completion of the Muslim Pilgrimage which takes place in Makkah but also a time to remember those who are in hardship and in need of support. It honours the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice (Qurbani) his son as an act of obedience to God’s command. But, before Abraham could sacrifice his son, God provided a lamb to sacrifice instead. In commemoration of this, an animal is sacrificed and divided into three parts: one-third of the share is given to the poor and needy, another third is given to relatives.This one-third of the meat was collected by MKWA and preserved it until it was cooked into a meal to serve the Syrian refugees and the homeless in MK.
MKWA, founded almost three years ago, has organised other similar events in Milton Keynes including providing meals for the homeless, supported local charities and causes.