Aston Villa hosts 1st-ever Open Iftar at club's stadium

Thu, 6 Apr 2023 11:28 GMT
Call to prayer recited at Villa Park stadium for fast breaking with attendance of hundreds of people.
Aston Villa hosts 1st-ever Open Iftar at club's stadium

English Premier League football club Aston Villa on Wednesday hosted its first-ever Open Iftar, a community event during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in the UK, at its home stadium Villa Park.

Hundreds of people gathered at Villa Park in Birmingham as part of the event, which was held in collaboration between the Aston Villa Foundation, the club's charitable arm, and the Ramadan Tent Project, an award-winning charity founded in 2013.

Before the fast breaking, the Adhan, or call to prayer, was recited over the Villa Park PA system.

Speaking at the event, Omar Salha, the founder of Ramadan Tent Project, said the project has connected over half a million people from all backgrounds through its annual Ramadan Festival and flagship initiative Open Iftar over the past decade.

"From public parks and squares, to Britain’s most loved, cultural and iconic landmarks, galleries, museums, places of worship and sports stadiums, we are proud to showcase that Ramadan is open to all and host a community of communities," he noted.

Aston Villa has become the fourth football club to host the event this year with Premier League clubs Chelsea and Brighton & Hove Albion and Championship club Queen's Park Rangers.

Aston Villa CEO Christian Purslow sent a video message to the event ahead of the iftar, saying they are delighted to host the club's first Iftar and extended the warmest of welcomes to the Muslim community around Villa Park.

"It is our pleasure to open our doors and enable you to break your fast at Aston Villa Football Club," he added.

Ramadan began on March 23 and will continue through April 21 -- the first day of the Eid al-Fitr holiday that marks the end of the month.

An award-winning charity, the Ramadan Tent Project aims to "bring communities together and spread the spirit of the holy month through various initiatives."

It said earlier that it will hold iftar events in 10 cities across the UK during the holy month.


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