FIRST EVER IFTAR DINNER DEMONSTRATES AUSTRALIA’S STRONG BONDS WITH THE PHILIPPINE MUSLIM COMMUNITY
Australian Ambassador Tony Hely chats with former Senator Santanina Rasul during an iftar hosted by the Ambassador at his home on 10 October. Marine Corps Commandant Major General Ben Dolorfino (left) looks on.
The Australian Ambassador to the Philippines, H.E. Tony Hely, shared an iftar dinner in Manila on 10 October with sixty of the Australian Embassy’s Muslim friends in Manila, including a broad spectrum of religious, community and government representatives.
Guests watched a video on how Ramadan was observed in Australia. It revealed that there were many similarities between Australian and Philippine Muslim practices and experiences during the sacred month of Ramadan.
This was the first time that the Australian Embassy had hosted an iftar. It was held to acknowledge and honor and the Embassy’s strong bonds with the Muslim community in both Metro Manila and Mindanao.
Ambassador Hely explained that these ties of friendship had been formed over years of collaborative work and partnerships, including in the fields of interfaith dialogue, Muslim education, leadership exchanges, peace journalism and economic development in Mindanao. They were also a result of Australia’s considerable contributions to the development programs flowing from the Philippine Government’s peace processes with the Moro National Liberation Front and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.