At the invitation of Molenbeek’s Deputy-Mayor for Sports, Ahmed El Khannouss, Orange in Brussels Lions and La Mannschaft were represented at the Iftar hosted by the Saint Jean-Baptiste church on Friday 17th June.
The local Molenbeek communities of all different beliefs were invited to jointly celebrate the breaking of the daily Ramadan fast in the spirit of meeting each other and having a good time together. Naturally, we were very happy to join this important event.
Many proud and smiling faces entered the church and shook hands. About 600 people sitting at long tables were welcomed by Mayor Françoise Schepmans, priest Aurélien Saniko of the Saint Jean Baptiste church in Molenbeek, and by the chairman of the council of Molenbeek mosques, Jamal Habbachich.
A particularly impressive poem was delivered by the husband of Loubna Lafquiri, who had been killed by the attacks in Brussels of 22nd March. His emotional message calling for tolerance and making connections was loud and clear, after which a standing ovation followed.
When it was time to break the fast, we shared a delicious meal provided by the people of Molenbeek, while being entertained by several bands and choirs, making the event even more festive. After the meal, more spontaneous meetings took place and lots of pictures were taken.
The common breaking of the fast was a great experience for us, and an excellent opportunity to promote our cause: the creation of a Cruyff Court in Molenbeek. As the Johan Cruyff Foundation’s rules prescribe respect for another and involving others in your activities, this event could not have been a better example of those values.
The cause for a Cruyff Court in Molenbeek was enthusiastically embraced by many people at event, including the community leaders and the local press. The common Iftar was a very inspiring and hopeful gathering, which encouraged us even more to make our goal a reality.