Ramadan mubarak! Balady hosts community feast

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Digging in: Walid Sadik heaped on the the helpings for the break-fast feast.
Home cooked meal: Dozens came out to mingle with their neighbors over a meal.
Eat up: Diners filled their plates at the evening Ramadan celebration.
Cooking up community: Locals from across the neighborhood showed up for the massive dinner.

They made fast work of this meal.

Balady Foods welcomed Bay Ridgites breaking their Ramadan fast for a the 11th-annual Iftar dinner in front of the Fifth Avenue market on June 20. The halal grocer cooks up the succulent feast as a way to break bread with neighbors and bring the community together, said the store’s general manager.

“The one thing that all Muslim people have in common is that they’ll be eating at the same time, so it’s a good way to take advantage and say, ‘Let’s eat together,’ ” said Bay Ridgite Mosa Masoud.

During Ramadan, observant Muslims abstain from food and drink between sunrise and sunset and break their fast with large meals known as Iftar dinners at sundown.

More than 350 hungry locals turned out for the massive smorgasbord, which included lamb, roasted chicken, kifta meat patties, and an array of rich, pastry desserts called baklava.

It’s tradition to ease into the feast with a date and water, and then usually something light such as lentil soup, according to Masoud. Then feast-goers pile high the salads, meats, and sweets as a treat for their piety. But the family-owned market aims to give back to locals regardless of their religious affiliation.

“It’s religious and cultural that it’s a beneficial thing to feed someone, Muslim or non-Muslim,” said Masoud. “Especially during the month of Ramadan — it’s a great thing to feed someone. And we plan continue this every year.”

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at or by calling (718) 260–2523. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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