Remote, yet connected during the “hand out Iftar”

On 19 May the time had come. The ‘hand out Iftar’ was organized by Welkom in Utrecht in collaboration with De Dominicuskerk in Oog in Al, Het Wilde Westen and De Wijkplaats. The goal was clear: get 465 dishes from 14 chefs [see names below text] who cooked in different places all over Utrecht all to one place – and hand these dishes out. But this was not an easy task. There was a lot of cycling, including with a ‘bakfiets’, lent by Kafé België, which went back and forth five times from all neighborhoods in Utrecht to the Dominicuskerk to get everything in the right place at the right time. Amazingly, everything worked out. 150 packages were made for adults and approximately 20 slightly smaller packages for children.

Usually people eat together at Iftar – the meal after sunset during Ramadam. Not only family, but also neighbors and friends join. Unfortunately, this was not the case during the COVID-19 outbreak this year. As a solution, this ‘hand out Iftar’ was quickly organized. By handing out the Iftar packages at an appropriate distance, everyone could safely come by to pick up a package and enjoy the same meal at home later. Packages were sent to elderly people living alone, financially weaker families, undocumented migrants, and residents of the AZC.

And even though often only one person came to collect several packages for family or neighbors, and they could not eat together, the feeling of connection was still there. Volunteers from Welkom in Utrecht walked to the church at an appropriate distance with the residents of the asylum center and the cooks of the delicious meals came from all kinds of countries with different religious backgrounds. A meal was also brought to the AZC for a few people, which caused heart-warming reactions. In short: it was an event that was all about connection, especially in these distant times.

Chefs: ThanaaKasr, Hadia, Sahar, Binish and her mother, Rosetta, Karim and Ahmed, Ankie, Shadi, Hamest, Blessing, Anass and Fatima.
Extra thanks
Text: Sofie Croonenberg
Photo: Fouad Hallak