Tacos for iftar? Ramadan, and a new era, start today – Orange County Register
For this year’s Ramadan, Rida Hamida is bringing taco trucks to every mosque in her community.
The holy month, which starts today and is observed by 1.5 billion Muslims, involves two key things — community-wide fasting during the daylight hours and the breaking of that fast, just after sunset, with a huge meal known as iftar.
Tacos are not standard iftar fare.
And that’s the point.
Rida Hamida and Benjamin Vazquez, a Santa Ana educator and community activist, are working to bring taco trucks to mosques throughout Orange County for Ramadan. “With this event, we are introducing a new segment of the Muslim population to the Latino community,” said Hamida, who along with Vazquez has conducted storytelling events at schools throughout the region. (File photo by Ana Venegas, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Guests, representing multiple faiths, work together to on a quiz about Ramadan and Islam during the Annual Interfaith Iftar Dinner at the Islamic Center of Irvine in 2016. (Photo by LEONARD ORTIZ, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER/SCNG)
From left, Maryam Saleemi, Andrea Hodos and Aziza Hasan work for New Ground, a community-based Muslim-Jewish partnership in Los Angeles. (Photo by John McCoy, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush says he would like to see Southern California Muslims invite neighbors to their homes for a more intimate iftar dinner. (File photo by Cindy Yamanaka, Orange County Register/SCNG)
For Hamida, and thousands of other Muslims in Southern California, the iftar table is becoming a place to forge bonds with non-Muslim neighbors. That’s been true since the Sept. 11 attacks, but this year — the first Ramadan since the election of President Donald Trump — the trend is accelerating. And if the tacos-for-iftar effort happens to bring together two groups who currently feel targeted — Muslims and Latinos — so much the better, say Hamida and others.
Mosques and Muslim community organizations generally are emphasizing…