Diversity & Dialogue Dinner 2016

This year QIS (Queensland Intercultural Society) held their Second Annual Diversity and Dialogue Dinner at Griffith University. Attendees ranged from ministers, members of Queensland parliament, academia and media, multi-faith and community leaders. Host of the night and Director of the Centre for Interfaith and Cultural Dialogue at Griffith University, Doctor Brian Adams humorously explained the importance of such nights and the necessity for unity as a means of combating the unfortunate ongoing world events.

This was followed by the Athan (call to prayer) by Executive Director of QIS Mr. Abdul-Celil Gelim, the magrib (night) prayer and finally, iftar (the breaking of the fast).  Mr. Gelim took the opportunity to condemn the June 29 terror attacks that occurred at Istanbul airport and all other violence and terrorist activity. Mr Gelim stressed the importance of Dialogue and to understand people of different backgrounds in order to form a unison in periods where dividedness and fear are imminently increasing. Mr. Gelim’s speech was followed by a beautiful Quran recitation by Imam Ahmad Abu Ghazaleh, which captivated guests and provided a soothing atmosphere.

The program commenced with a warm welcome speech by co-host, Professor Martin Betts, Deputy Vice Chancellor at Griffith University. Keynote speaker, Dr. Zuleyha Keskin flew in from Melbourne for the evening and reminded us that ‘we need to work together more than ever before to create social harmony and remove prejudice, racism and bigotry.’

Following dessert, the night was reflected on through floor reflections, Mr. Ariel Haber shared his thoughts and experiences about interfaith dialogue and stressed the importance of ‘interchanging personality, ideas and cultures [to] build interfaith dialogue.’ Anti-discrimination commissioner Kevin Cocks empathised with the Muslim community and assured guests that ‘the vast majority of the Muslim community are just as horrified as us at the violent attacks going on in the world.’ Which was followed by the Honorary John Mickel and concluded with an exchange of gifts between Professor Martin Betts and Mr Abdul Celil Gelim.

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Reviews

Iftar Message from Hon Glen Elmes, Multicultural Minister

“I would like to extend, on this special special occasion, my greetings to all Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan. I was honoured to have been invited by the Queensland Intercultural Society to sponsor the first Newman Government’s Iftar Dinner at Parliament House and grateful for the opportunity to participate in the breaking of the daily fast. Queensland […]