News: Iftar Dinner hosted at FOB Farah in celebration of Ramadan
Story by 2nd Lt. Christine Darius
FORWARD OPERATING BASE FARAH, Afghanistan - Dignified leaders in Farah province, coalition forces and United States Agency for International Development representatives gathered to take part in an Iftar Dinner hosted by The Department of State on Forward Operating Base Farah, in Afghanistan, Sept. 6.
Provincial line ministers, government staff officials and provincial council members took part in breaking the day of fast with the Iftar Dinner. Mark Thornburg of Washington, D.C., Department of State representative, hosted the dinner to keep with Islamic traditions, as a gesture of respect and hospitality to Provincial Government partners.
"We hosted this dinner in keeping with the tradition of sharing a meal to break the fast during Ramadan. It was a sign of respect for the Afghans that work with us so closely -- that we appreciate the hospitality and generosity that they've so consistently shown us over the course of our time working together,” Thornburg said.
The event began when coalition forces and civilian agencies greeted their Afghan counterparts, and lead them to an area in which they could wash their hands. From there, they were escorted to a “dasterkhwan”—a traditional afghan cloth placed on a carpet where they sit and eat meals. After the evening call to prayers sounded, the sun officially set, they took a bite of a Date fruit and said brief prayers. All parties then sat and enjoyed their dinner together.
“We wanted to hold a dinner because they [Provincial Government members] are our partners in reconstruction; this isn't a one-sided effort, and we do appreciate the partnership. The Iftar Dinner was a perfect way to express our appreciation for them and the work they do, as well as for local traditions and customs,” Thornburg said.
More than 50 Provincial government leaders were in attendance.