NEWS | May 28, 2019

Soldiers, Airmen Join Qatari Counterparts to Celebrate Iftar

By Sgt. Zachary Mott Area Support Group - Qatar

With tables of food lining the perimeter of the room and tables packed with eager Soldiers, Airmen, civilians and their families from Camp As Sayliyah had the honor to be guests of the Qatari armed forces during a meal to celebrate the iftar, or breaking of the daily holy month of Ramadan fast, May 21, 2019.

“It is important to attend events hosted by our host nation because it gives service members an opportunity to have a better cultural awareness and understanding, and it helps build upon the existing relationships and strengthens our partnerships,” said Capt. Jerry Thompson, acting command chaplain, Area Support Group-Qatar.

More than 75 Soldiers, civilians and their family members joined with other American military members from across Qatar to celebrate iftar thanks to the International Military Cooperation Authority.

“It is important that our U.S. military community in Qatar integrate more with the Qatari culture through such memorable events, it also provides valuable insight about the unique history and heritage of Qatar,” said Hani Abukishk, the civil military officer for ASG-QA.

The meal featured traditional items such as goat and rice and other Middle Eastern dishes as well as items from American, Filipino and other regional cultures. Additionally, there were displays of traditional Qatari customs such as fishnet sewing, basket weaving, boat carving, pearl jewelry, a chance to take pictures wearing Middle Eastern clothing and jewelry.

“Hopefully they gained a better appreciation for the holy month of Ramadan, its significance and some of its associated customs and traditions,” said Abukishk. “The event also demonstrated Qatari generosity and hospitality, and will leave an everlasting positive impression on all of those who attended.”