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Abraham’s Table: Thanksgiving and Sacrifice Dinner – November 22, 2011

Abraham’s Table: Thanksgiving and Sacrifice Dinner – November 22, 2011

On Tuesday, November 22nd, the Turkish Cultural Center of New York hosted an Abraham’s Table Thanksgiving and Sacrifice dinner. Several friends met to commemorate America’s Thanksgiving holiday and the Muslim Feast of the Sacrifice. Thanksgiving is a secular holiday and the Feast of the Sacrifice a religious one. The two speakers on this evening shed light on both aspects of gratitude and sacrifice.

Date: November 22, 2011

Time: 6:00 pm

Venue: TCC Manhattan

 

Moderator:

Suzie Araceli

Keynote Speaker:

Ibrahim Sayar, Peace Islands Institute

 

Director of Center For Interfaith Affairs

On Tuesday, November 22nd, the Turkish Cultural Center of New York hosted an Abraham’s Table Thanksgiving and Sacrifice dinner. Several friends met to commemorate America’s Thanksgiving holiday and the Muslim Feast of the Sacrifice. Thanksgiving is a secular holiday and the Feast of the Sacrifice a religious one. The two speakers on this evening shed light on both aspects of gratitude and sacrifice.

To start the event, Suzanne Thiele, an intern at the Turkish Cultural Center of New York who is a Marine Corps veteran, shared some of her experiences that illustrated how we as Americans have so much to appreciate. She specifically spoke about her time in Iraq. Many people sacrifice their lives in war—both willingly and unwillingly—and her experiences there really put things into perspective. She concluded that helping people is the best way to show your appreciation for one another.

Then Ibrahim Sayar of the Peace Islands Institute spoke about the Muslim Feast of the Sacrifice. This honors the prophet Abraham’s (peace be upon him) willingness to give up that which is most valuable to him in his life, his son Ishmael. Mr. Sayar explained that to be a true believer, one must be willing to give up whatever it is that they value most. This could be a person as was the case with the prophet Abraham, or it could be material possessions or money. It is through that willingness to sacrifice, through those honest intentions, that we show our gratefulness to God.

From both aspects, religious and secular, there is agreement that we should all be grateful for the things we take for granted. Anyone can celebrate Thanksgiving, regardless of your religion or nationality, and we can all appreciate what we have and show that appreciation to God and/or each other. To end the night, dinner consisting of both Turkey and sacrificial lamb was served.

 

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