Markell hosts first Ramadan Istar dinner at Woodburn

DOVER — Gov. Jack Markell became the first Delaware governor to celebrate the Muslim Ramadan Iftar dinner.

At a Thursday dinner at Woodburn, the governor’s state-run mansion, Gov. Markell, Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen, Delaware State Housing Authority Director Anas Ben Addi and more than two dozen guests representing Delaware mosques shared the dinner.

Iftar is the evening meal, held after sunset, that ends the daily fasting Muslims engage in during the month of Ramadan. Ramadan lasts from June 17 to July 17 this year.

Jack Markell


“The diversity of Delawareans has always been a source of great pride and strength,” Gov. Markell, a Democrat, said in a statement. “This Iftar dinner celebrates that diversity while recognizing the Muslim community in Delaware, which has given so much to the state and the region through a spirit of kindness and compassion as well as through a commitment to serving all of those in need.”

Gov. Markell, the first Jewish governor elected in Delaware, said he hopes the event becomes an annual occasion.

A statement released issue by the governor’s office touted Gov. Markell’s commitment to religious tolerance.

“Actions like this one will enhance feelings of equality, fairness and inclusiveness in Muslims and will boost their integration into the general population for a stronger unified Delaware,” Qamar Ahmad, board president of Masjid Ibrahim and a dinner guest, said in a statement.

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