Published On: Mon, Jul 4th, 2016

IftarYYC hosts first ever community iftar dinner with over 1,500 in attendance


IftarYYC was held on Canada Day and over 1,500 were in attendance. Photo credits: Usman Cokar.

Being born and raised in Calgary, AB, I have seen my fair share of public and private events. Some even hosted by myself, but nothing could really impress me more than the community iftar I attended on Canada Day. The event, IftarYYC was hosted by Sheikh Fayaz Tilly and a team of volunteers curated by Ilyas Gora and top it all off the entire event was sponsored and catered by Cedar’s Deli. Donations were encouraged and a truck load of non-perishable food items were donated to the Calgary Food Bank.



Attendees performing Maghrib salah. Photo credits: Usman Cokar.

IftarYYC is a community out-reach initiative to bring not only the Muslim community together during the month of Ramadan, but non-Muslims as well. They had their first Ramadan Iftar held on Canada Day (July 1st) and they could have not picked a better day to do so.

The moment this iftar was being planned and executed, I knew I had to attend and witness this event first hand, and I’m glad I did. It was definitely the most unique and heart warming experience I have ever seen in any community event done in Calgary. From the wonderful food to the friendly and professional volunteers everything was planned and executed brilliantly.


Sheikh Fayaz Tilly hosted the event along side him are the owners of Cedar’s Deli which sponsored and catered the Iftar. Photo credits: Usman Cokar.

Iftar YYC was hosted at Bridgeland Riverside Community Association centre and fully done outdoors, it gave a real ‘iftari’ feeling throughout the evening. Attendees were sitting and enjoying the atmosphere with the Calgary skyline behind them.


Attendees were sitting and enjoying their meal while they got to see the beautiful Calgary skyline. Photo credits: Usman Cokar.


Every year, the owner’s of Cedar’s Deli host a public iftar outside their restaurant and this year they wanted to do something much bigger and make sure they could reach out to and provide a free meal to as many people as they could. They contacted Sheikh Fayaz Tilly knowing he was the person to get in contact with. Sheikh Fayaz is a well known Calgarian imam who many of the youth go to and seek counsel.


Cedar’s Deli owners alongside Ilyas Gora and the team of volunteers which made this event all possible. Photo credits: Usman Cokar.

Sheikh Fayaz agreed and then went forward to Ilyas Gora, who has more than enough volunteering experience and got a hold of team and it took off from there.

The results became astounding as over 1,500 people attended and a truck load of donations were dropped off to the Calgary food bank.

Iftar YYC hopes to continue their work and reach out to more in the future.


IftarYYC wishes to continue their efforts and hope to bring more community out-reach opportunities in the future. Photo credits: Usman Cokar.

For more info and how you can be involved with their next event, like their Facebook page.


About the Author

Fazal Khan

- Fazal Khan is Co-Founder and Editor at The Kooza. He currently resides in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing a variety of topics and loves to watch movies.