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SPEECH: 2024 Affinity Friendship & Dialogue Iftar Dinner

Ladies and gentlemen, as-alamu-laikum! Ramadan muburak!

It is a great pleasure to be with you here tonight at such a wonderful and important community event.

I have the privilege of being one of your co-hosts for this evening’s event alongside Minister Kamper.

My friends, I have had the pleasure of attending many previous Affinity Iftar dinners before and time and time again this has been a wonderful event for community harmony, self-reflection and faith during this holy month.

Ladies and gentlemen, Ramadan is such a wonderful time in the Islamic calendar, not only in our local communities throughout New South Wales, but throughout the globe.

It serves as an opportunity for us all to slow down and reflect. To celebrate, yes, but also to reflect on the importance of charity, family, and community.

I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside many of you for some time now and it’s wonderful to see some familiar faces here tonight.

Your community - the Islamic community, plays such an integral role in supporting, helping and serving the people of NSW. Time and time again, you put the needs of others before your own.

In the spirit of Ramadan, a time of peaceful reflection, I want to say thank you.

Thank you to every organization, every mosque and every individual, that have put their priorities aside to support the needy and vulnerable in our communities.

Thank you to your spiritual leaders for advocating for peace, charity and service for others.

And thank you for making our vibrant multicultural society more vibrant, rich and prosperous, to the benefit of all people living in New South Wales.

I say it time and time again, but I truly believe it, our diversity here in New South Wales is our strength. It helps us to succeed, both individuals and as a wider community.

The key to that success is not just the respect we show each other but that we open ourselves up, inviting others to come and learn – to understand the differences that make us special.

And that is one of the great things about Ramadan – during this time of fasting, while you are all reaffirming and strengthening your faith in Allah, you are making time to help others understand why this holy month is so important.

Multiculturalism and intercultural connections are such a cherished and important aspect of our harmonious society.

Serving as a beacon for the rest of the world, who seek to follow our example as a society built upon the pillars of faith, openness and friendship.

Friends, I hope that this holy month gives you the opportunity to reflect and focus on your faith. May you have a truly blessed Ramadan.

I would to thank and recognise the Affinity Intercultural Foundation for the incredible work they do and for organising tonight’s event.

Once again, it my great pleasure to welcome you here to the NSW Parliament tonight and I hope you all have a fantastic evening.

Shukran. Thank you everyone.