MPAC Hosts Annual Ramadan Iftar on Capitol Hill

April 3, 2024 News & Updates

Monday, March 18, 2023, the MPAC Policy Bureau hosted our annual Ramadan Iftar in Washington, D.C. We were joined by Muslim, Arab, and South Asian community members, government officials, congressional staff, faith leaders, and others on Capitol Hill to break our fast and contemplate the grave situation in Palestine, further emphasizing the significance of unity and solidarity within our communities in America during this holy time. 

We were joined by Laura Albast, a Palestinian American journalist and media analyst, currently serving as the Senior Editor of Digital Strategy and Communications at the Institute for Palestine Studies-USA. 

As an editor and media analyst, Laura spoke on the need for a truthful narrative on Gaza, accurate portrayals of the Palestinian people, and the importance of countering misinformation so that the reality facing Palestinians is known and understood across the globe. She emphasized the ongoing dehumanization of both Palestinians in Gaza and Muslims here in the media. 

“It’s clear that the media’s coverage of the Muslim and Arab community in America – coverage of events like iftar, celebrations, and tragedies – has been overwhelmingly performative. There is a fascination with our food, with our traditions, with our music, clothes, our faith… but still, there is a deep, deep inability to recognize us as human beings. We are news stories. To the traditional media in this country – like to the government, both parties – we are not people.

 — Laura Albast, Senior Editor of Digital Strategy and Communications at the Institute for Palestine Studies-USA

Also offering remarks was Josh Paul, former State Department Director of Political-Military Affairs and Democracy Now for the Arab World (DAWN) Fellow. Since his resignation from the State Department following the Biden Administration’s decision to send arms to Israel, Josh Paul continues to amplify the moral imperative for our elected officials to do more to protect the innocent Palestinians in Gaza.

“Let’s be clear: None of this is enough.  It is incumbent on all of us, particularly those of us who have public influence and have pursued roles in public leadership, to speak up, and to act.  And to the many elected officials, many of whom I know behind closed doors will acknowledge that war crimes are being committed with the arms we are providing, I say: did you enter politics to do good, or only to achieve power?  The time for leadership is now. The time for action is now.” 

— Josh Paul, Democracy Now for the Arab World (DAWN) Fellow

We thank all who attended this uplifting event as we gathered in unity to break our fast this Ramadan. We also thank Imam Zia Makhdoom of MakeSpace for his recitation of prayers for Palestine and for leading maghrib prayers. 

As we reflect on these powerful messages, let us continue standing together in demanding an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza. Our collective voice can make a meaningful difference in ending the suffering of the Palestinian people and pave the way for a brighter tomorrow.

You can build a future free from fear and bigotry.

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