LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – The 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Task Force Patriot, hosted an Iftar dinner with their 201st Afghan National Army Corps’ counterparts at Forward Operating Base Gamberi, Aug. 4. The Iftar is the evening meal where Muslims break their fast during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
The commander of the Combined Joint Task Force-101 and Regional Command East, Major General James McConville, attended the event alongside his deputy commander, Brigadier General Ronald Lewis.
“We share a common goal with our Afghan partners and by having the chance to sit here and be part of a very important religious event for them, it was very special,” said McConville, a native of Quincy, Mass.
Iftar guests included the commander of the 201st Corps, Major General Waziri and Command Sergeant Major Abu Talib, General Waziri’s senior enlisted advisor. Leaders from the Operations Coordination Center – Regional were also in attendance.
“For the last five years I’ve been working in east Afghanistan at the OCC-R,” said Brigadier General Miv Jalaludin Jamshid, deputy director of the OCC-R, "since I’ve started I’ve worked with different mentors from the Coalition Forces and every year during Ramadan our mentors invite us to an Iftar dinner inside the FOB and we really appreciate that.”
The dinner gave Task Force Patriot their first opportunity to interact with their new ANSF counterparts in a social setting since they arrived to advise and assist at FOB Gamberi. They used the opportunity to discuss the country’s state of affairs, and how the new relationship would move forward.
“Afghan people will never forget the United States and their soldiers who came to Afghanistan and sacrificed for the Afghan government and the Afghan people,” said Jamshid.
The Americans echoed the sentiment of gratitude throughout the evening and credited the ANSF with the progress they’ve made in securing their county.
“Our common goal is for a safe and secure Afghanistan and to provide an opportunity for the children of Afghanistan, so they have a future,” said McConville.
Culturally the fast is broken by eating three dates, then a prayer, followed by the dinner. Traditional foods served for Iftar are kebabs, naan bread, and kabuli palaw, which is rice with raisins, lentils, carrots and lamb.