An Afghan Feast!
It’s Refugee Week and it’s a national celebration.
But here at Mercy Works, we don’t need a special reason to celebrate our wonderful refugees and asylum seekers.
Earlier this year we celebrated our adult literacy class at Dandenong Library, part of our Mercy Connect Melbourne Program, with an Afghan Feast.
And it all started with a simple note: “I want to throw a party if you do not have a problem with Afghan food!”
All Friday mornings are a happy and busy time at the Adult Literacy Class, our Mercy Connect class run at the Dandenong Library in Melbourne for adult refugees and asylum seekers looking to improve their English. The Program, run with the generous support of donors like The Jack Brockhoff Foundation, recommenced earlier this year.
But one Friday in May was even more exciting, says Sr Mary Lewis, our Mercy Connect Program Coordinator in Melbourne
“It was the first lesson after EID – the Muslim Feast at the conclusion of Ramadan,” explains Sr Mary.
The religious holiday, Eid al-Fitr, is celebrated by Muslims worldwide because it marks the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan.
“The previous Friday, one of the students presented us with a note asking to throw a party. It was decided that everyone could bring something to share and we could all celebrate. All were happy and agreed.”
But come Friday 4th May and the volunteer tutors were there on time, as always, but no students.
“We wondered if they thought we were going to celebrate at a restaurant or somewhere else!” says Sr Mary.
“But one by one they began to arrive each carrying some delicious food they had prepared that morning. There were Cambodian donuts, Aussie Anzac Biscuits, Afghan Bread in multiple varieties, Spicy Chicken wings and Biryani, Afghani dumplings, sandwiches, chocolate, cakes and chips to name a few.”
The host of the party disappeared half way through the morning and returned with a shopping trolley laden with beautiful hot food and salads.
“It was a little like the loaves and fishes where everyone was treated to a feast,” says Sr Mary. “There was much sharing and chatter among students and tutors and it was obvious that no one had any problem with Afghan food. Not much was left over and that was happily shared among all, tutors and students, and taken home to family.
“A happy time was had by all!”
Mercy Works especially wishes to thank The Jack Brockhoff Foundation for their support towards our Mercy Connect Adult Literacy Class at the Dandenong Library.