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CLDJ Annual Iftar Brings Together Deployed Service Members, Local Community Members

14 April 2023

From Lt.j.g. Victoria Piccoli

CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (April 14, 2023) - Camp Lemonnier hosted its' annual Iftar meal for deployed U.S. service members and invited local Djiboutian community members to join the celebration on April 14.
An Iftar is the breaking of the fast after sunset during Ramadan and serves as a significant point in the day.

"We are gathered as friends and neighbors to celebrate," said U.S. Navy Capt. Brian Iber, Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, commanding officer. "This event and meal are meant to be shared as a community."

CLDJ's Iftar meal serves as an act of solidarity and support for Muslim service members and the larger local Djiboutian community, and allows CLDJ residents the opportunity to learn, observe, and participate, said Iber.

"Being here in Djibouti, we feel the community aspect, not just here on camp, but as we interact daily and build upon our relationships," said Iber.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is observed as a time for fasting, prayer, and service. This year Ramadan in Djibouti is held from March 22 to April 20.

"Ramadan is a time for introspection, devotion, and charity," said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Jami Shawley, commanding general Combine Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa. "For all of us, especially in uniform, whatever our faiths, or no faith at all, Ramadan is a reminder of our common humanity. The values of tranquility and charity, and the importance of family, community, tribe, and nationhood are universal."

The Iftar served as more than a meal, but as an example of our values, including acceptance of others, strength in diversity, and religious freedoms, said Shawley.

CLDJ enables maritime and combat operations in the Horn of Africa, and by supporting the rights, beliefs, and religious practices of our Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Soldiers, we gain a strategic advantage by leveraging the diversity of all members.

"I am very proud to host this event, and thank you to our Muslim service members and Djiboutian community members who are open to sharing your faith with me and our team here," said Iber.

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