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TCC Buffalo Held Dinner of Abrahamic Faiths | Arts & Culture

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TCC Buffalo Held Dinner of Abrahamic Faiths
TCC Buffalo Held Dinner of Abrahamic Faiths

Wednesday night was an important milestone for Turkish Cultural Center Buffalo’s interfaith dialogue activities. Though volunteers of TCC has organized several events before in order to promote dialogue and mutual understanding among followers of different beliefs, “Dinner of Abrahamic Traditions” was the Cultural Center’s first ceiling event and initiative bringing together followers of  three mainstream religions, namely Judaism, Christianity and Islam, together in the footsteps of Prophet Abraham.

Welcoming its guests with a little reception, the event started with keynote talks of Dr. Cameron Miller, Pastor of Trinity Episcopal Church, and Dr. Muhammed Saleem Agwa, Imam of Islamic Cultural Center of Niagara underlining shared values among the adherents of three monotheistic religions. Both Dr. Agwa teaching at Niagara University and Dr. Miller lecturing at Canisius College have also shared their experiences towards interfaith dialogue in their conversations with college students.

The third keynote talk is delivered by a Turkish anthropologist on behalf of TCC presented the interfaith dialogue in Modern Turkey and the contributions of Service (Hizmet) Movement initiated by prominent Turkish Muslim Scholar Fethullah Gulen to these activities.

The speaker mentioned the initiation of dialogue efforts by Service Movement more than ten years before dreadful 9/11 attacks and summarized “building bridges between different faith and cultures” as one of the four visions of the movement among with “educational institutes to overcome ignorance”, “relief organizations to overcome poverty and social disasters” and “well-defined stance against any kind of terror activities”.

At the end of these talks all more precious than each other, it was the time to taste delicious homemade food and desserts cooked by local Turkish families. After breaking bread together with fraternity soul of Abrahamic Faiths, the silent prayers of peace rising among attendees from Episcopal, Catholic and Orthodox churches, from Jewish organizations and interfaith initiatives, from synagogues and mosques, imams, rabbis and pastors has been vocalized out by Rev. Marijan Procyk (St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic), Imam Nazim Mangera (Islamic Society of Niagara Frontier) and Rabbi Drorah Setel (Temple Beth El in Niagara Falls) in order.

Following the food and prayers, the enjoyers of the night has given opportunity to share their ideas on further organizations, comments and feelings on the event in a long lasting and enthusiastic open-mic session. The common sentence of all guests taking microphone their hand was their gratitude to the Turkish Cultural Center for its fruitful parenthood to such an event and regret of not striking out that long path of peace earlier.

Apparently most striking part of the program was live Sufi music and ‘sema’ [a ritual of remembrance of God] demonstration of whirling dervishes, performed between the dinner and open-mic session. 

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