In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, it currently isn’t possible for people of any faith to congregate and be together. This is poignant with Easter, Passover, Vaisakhi, and now Ramadan.

In this week’s episode of the Diverse Minds podcast, I am going to be talking about the upcoming annual fast for Muslims called Ramadan. We talk about why it’s important for workplaces and in fact everyone to understand more about it. 

If you enjoyed this episode, then consider subscribing on Apple podcast, Spotify or wherever you access your podcasts from. 

To join me in this week’s episode, I am delighted to speak to the very esteemed Omar Salha, Founder of the Ramadan Tent Project. 

About My Guest

Omar as an academic

Omar is an MA graduate in International Studies and Diplomacy. He was awarded the PhD Nohoudh Scholarship for the study of ‘Integration of Muslims in British Society’. His first academic chapter was published by Routledge titled ‘Diplomacy and The Beautiful Game: Muslim footballers as ambassadors of faith’. Omar is currently writing about Islamic Public Diplomacy and the ‘Otherisation’ of Muslims in Popular Culture. As a Faculty Member for the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project (IRDP) at UC Berkeley he presented at the annual International Islamophobia Conference across the globe. 

Ramadan Tent Project

In addition to his academic work, Omar founded the Ramadan Tent Project (RTP) in 2013. RTP is a social enterprise and community institution. Dedicated to creating spaces of belonging, dialogue and empowerment through its flagship initiative, Open Iftar. Open Iftar invites people of all faiths and none to the breaking of fast to explore the Islamic faith.As well as sharing the community spirit through food, inspirational talks and engaging discussions.

To date, Open Iftar has hosted over 100,000 guests across 13 cities and four continents. Including groundbreaking, unprecedented and historical events at Westminster Abbey, Wembley Stadium, The British Library and Trafalgar Square. Ramadan Tent Project’s vision is a world where all people belong and live together in harmony

Accolades

Omar was appointed as a Fellow at the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA). He is passionate about servant leadership & social entrepreneurship, as well as being a keen sports enthusiast. With his greatest achievement to date is scoring a penalty against one of the most successful professional football coaches in the world, Jose Mourinho! 

Omar is a former member of Football Beyond Borders & featured in a documentary titled ‘Over the Wall’, a film about a London-based football team and their journey to play in Palestine. He is a regular contributor to international and national print and digital media. 

In today’s show, we talk about Ramadan and what it means: 

  • Why Omar decided to become an academic. [04:47]
  • What Ramadan is and what it means to him. [15:32]
  • How he started the Ramadan Tent Project. [28:58]
  • Ways in which we can all support each other and celebrate Ramadan during this crisis. [34:59]
  • What workplaces can do to support their employees during Ramadan. [39:10]
  • His top three tips for anyone fasting and participating in Ramadan to look after their mental health. [46:26]

Connect with my guest:

Quotes

  • With every lecture that I begin with, I  encourage my students to question even the very things that I am saying in the class.
  • Muslims are the biggest recipients, unfortunately of hate crime, and disproportionately I might add.
  • In addition, a much higher proportion of these hate crimes are Muslim woman.
  • Social capital is our ability to influence others, through non-coercive means.
  • The Ramadan Tent Project’s mission is to bring people together to better understand each other and build bridges.

Work with me

Feeling overwhelmed at the moment? Then why not book a one hour power hour video call with me?

I can help you:

  • Focus on your priorities to manage your work-life balance in the way you want to.
  • Learn to plug your “time leaks”
  • Think about ways to stay connected during this period of social isolation.
  • Communicate with your wider team more effectively whilst working at a distance.
  • Reflect on your own wellbeing and what could work for you right now.

You can book a time that works for you using my Calendly. 

Find out more about Diverse Minds and how I can help you here.

Subscribe to the podcast 

If you enjoyed this episode, then consider subscribing on Apple podcast, Spotify or wherever you access your podcasts from. 

You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. 

Remember to tune in to next week’s episode, where I’ll bring you more insights into mental health and inclusion.