"Assalamualaikum" and "waleikum-salam" were exchanged among the members of the Islamic Center of Cedar Rapids as they gathered for the daily breaking fast meal, also known as iftar, Saturday, August 4, 2012. The theme for Saturday's iftar was an Indian/Pakistani feast catered by a restaurant from Iowa City.
At 7:20p.m., members of the center gathered in the prayer room and performed their prayers. The Indian/Pakistani feast was served after the prayer. The dining room that was empty before became lively with conversations as the muslims and non-muslims gathered to enjoy the food together.
Nancy and Randy Lowenberg have been invited to join the fast-breaking meal for many years by their friend, Timothy Hyatt, who is a member of the Board of Directors.
"It's about community, families, from the very young to the very old, coming together," explains Nancy Lowenberg. "Those are things that we value in our lives. There's also a lot of ethnic diversity in this state, and it's represented by the food that they offer. And it helps us understand their lives. We meet people that we might not meet. It's interesting."