Obama to Host Iftar Dinner

Posted August 10th, 2011 at 9:05 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama is hosting an Iftar dinner at the White House Wednesday to celebrate Ramadan, the Muslim holy month.

The White House says guests include Muslim leaders and activists as well as elected officials and leaders of other faiths.

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast during the daylight hours. Iftar is the meal that breaks the fast at the end of the day.

President Bill Clinton started the tradition of holding an Iftar dinner at the White House, and President George W. Bush continued it. This is the third time President Obama has hosted the meal.

In a Ramadan statement August 1, President Obama expressed best wishes to Muslim communities in the United States and around the world.

He also used the occasion to encourage more aid for those who are starving in Somalia, saying Ramadan is a reminder of the importance of reaching out to the less fortunate.