Saturday, July 20, 2024
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Brunei Town

Embassy hosts sungkai gathering

The United States (US) Embassy in Brunei Darussalam hosted a sungkai (iftar) for American exchange programme alumni, colleagues from government agencies, non-governmental organisations’ (NGOs) leaders, civil society representatives, educators and the media at De’ Olde Cottage Cafe in Kiulap on Wednesday.

US Ambassador-Designate to Brunei Darussalam Caryn McClelland welcomed guests by expressing her gratitude to be learning about Bruneian culture and food traditions during Ramadhan.

“Having worked previously in Malaysia and Indonesia, I know this month often brings out the best in people, reminding us of our shared responsibility to treat others with kindness and compassion,” she said.

McClelland noted that it has become a tradition for US presidents to host an annual iftar dinner at the White House while ordinary Americans often host them too, since across the states more than 3.5 million Americans practise Islam.

“These iftars, which often include people of all faiths, show the vital role religious communities play in promoting mutual respect, inclusion, and protection of human rights,” she added.

The sungkai was also attended by a new American exchange student in Brunei Moez Hayat who will be studying the interplay of the Sultanate’s religious and cultural traditions with modern education at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) under the Fulbright US Student programme.

2019 Fulbright US-ASEAN Visiting Scholar alum Dr Hilmy Baihaqy bin Yussof led a prayer before the breaking of the fast.

During the course of the evening, guests engaged in lively discussions about Brunei’s local culture, the significance of Ramadhan, and common practices for American Muslims.

United States Ambassador-Designate to Brunei Darussalam Caryn McClelland with guests at the sungkai get-together. PHOTO: US EMBASSY