The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs will celebrate the incredible diversity which exists within its community, by hosting a first-ever Iftar event at Accor Stadium.
Iftar is the evening meal with which Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset, at the time of the call to prayer for the evening prayer.
With over 79 000 citizens (21%) of the City of Canterbury-Bankstown celebrating the Muslim faith, Ramadan is a major community event within both Western Sydney and Nationally. To celebrate this, and to continue to find ways to be both inclusive and welcoming, the Bulldogs believe that creating a connection amongst people from all backgrounds is a foundation stone of this great club.
To be a leader in sport you need to bring people together and the Bulldogs have had a great connection with the Muslim community throughout the club’s history.
Creating an Iftar event is the next stage in the celebration of that diversity within the local community, and club legend, Hazem El Masri and his wife, Arwa Abousamra, will have the honour of hosting the event on this ground-breaking night.
Hazem, was honoured to be involved in the event:
"Being the first Muslim rugby league player in NRL history, I trained and played for the Bulldogs during the month of Ramadan my entire career. I broke my fast in private during half time many times. It is a wonderful step forward for the Bulldogs to be the first club in the NRL to host the Inaugural Bulldogs Ramadan Iftar 2022. It demonstrates the Bulldogs ongoing commitment to community and their focus on cultural awareness and relevance in the greater community".
Hazem’s wife, Arwa Abousamra, was equally as excited to be involved:
"Over the years Hazem and I hosted Iftar dinners for many of our rugby league family during the month of Ramadan in our home. We shared a part of us that is a pillar of our Islamic faith. This year it is with great pleasure to be a part of the Inaugural Bulldogs Ramadan Iftar 2022, where the Bulldogs are leading the way in the NRL in connecting with a community it thrives in''.
Bulldogs Chief Executive, Aaron Warburton, also spoke about the importance of celebrating diversity:
“The Muslim community have a long history of supporting the Bulldogs, both on and off the field. The club has also had many Muslim players represent over the years and we currently have a new generation coming through our Junior League and Pathways.
Rugby League needs to be an inclusive and welcoming sport, and we as a club are committed to being a leading club in the NRL, in regard to community engagement.
Hosting this inaugural Iftar event will be a proud moment in the club’s history.”
*The Iftar event will take place at Accor Stadium, Homebush on Saturday 30 April at 4pm before the Bulldogs v Roosters NRL match