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Choosing your family

When Nasteha Mohamud thinks of Ramadan, she thinks of togetherness and re-establishing meaningful connections with those closest to her. 

But The Huddle's social cohesion coordinator says it's not that way for everyone.  

“Ramadan is my family sitting around a table after a long day, and just being together and sharing a meal,” she explained to North Media. 

“But it can also be difficult for people who are away from family. 

“But I really do believe that these days you can choose your own family." 

It's a belief The Huddle has adopted by hosting a special Iftar dinner.

During the holy month of Ramadan, Mulims fast from sunrise to sunset. They only eat a pre-dawn meal known as a Suhoor, and an after sunset meal called a Iftar. 

More than 40 people attended The Huddle's Iftar dinner including children, students, parents, tutors, employees and members of the local community; embracing each other as chosen family.  

“A lot of participants struggle, and we try to bring that sense of support and create a place that they can trust and feel safe in,” Mohamud said. 

“It was really nice to share the meal with everyone. I know some people didn’t know much about Ramadan, or weren’t fasting. But it was so nice to gather together and share each other’s culture.

“We wanted the dinner to be informal and intimate. And the evening ended up being so nice.

“Ramadan is a time of reflection. You think about the past year and your personal goals; spiritually and emotionally. So you reflect and set goals for the future."