Grand Iftar will return to St Mark’s Road in Bristol this month for first time in three years

Bristol Iftar
The Grand Iftar is held in Bristol on the last Thursday of Ramadan Credit: BPM Media

A popular Islamic event in Bristol will return to the city for the first time in three years because of covid.

The 'Grand Iftar' will be held in St Mark's Road in Easton on Thursday 28 April.

The event allows people who fast for Ramadan to come together for their evening meal - also know as an 'iftar' - to celebrate the breaking of fast.

Afzal Shah and Mohammed Elsharif founded the Grand Iftar in 2017 as a response to the Manchester Arena bombing that year.

The pair intend to bring all sections of the Muslim community together with the wider non-Muslim community as a way of promoting peace and togetherness.

Grand Iftar founders Credit: BPM Media

Elsharif said: "The Grand Iftar is an extraordinary event for us as we share a precious moment of our faith and culture with fellow Bristolians.

"This year we will be working to run a special event as start of post lockdown Grand Iftar."

This year’s event will be restricted to 500 people because of concerns surrounding the spread of Covid with barriers and security in place to limit attendance.

The event is led entirely by a group of volunteers who raise their own funds each year in order to feed people for free in their thousands.

There are plans to section off a portion of the road for the event and create two exit and entry points, with access for residents.

Further engagement with the local community and businesses on St Mark’s Road will take place before the logistics for this year's event are finalised - online streaming of the event for those who can not attend in person.

As in previous years, the Iftar will be on the last Thursday of Ramadan which begins on Saturday, April 2, this year.

The smaller Iftar gathering will take place on Thursday, April 28, and entry will be on a first come, first served basis.

The last Grand Iftar that took place in 2019 and coincided with 100 years of women's suffrage was used to celebrate woman in Islam and promote women's rights.

This year the Islamic community event will be an occasion to pay tribute to Hanna Ahmed, one of the key organisers of the Bristol Grand Iftar.

Hanna, who passed away in 2020, was a community volunteer, a campaigner against female genital mutilation (FGM) and a victim support worker.