This article appears in today's Leicester Mercury:
Join "flash mob" in breaking fast
Young Muslims are inviting homeless people to a picnic as they mark the holy month of Ramadan.
A group of Leicester friends are planning to hold a "flash mob" gathering outside Leicester Town Hall and will be breaking out home-cooked food to share at the end of their day's fasting.
People staying at the YMCA and other hostels and shelters around the city are being invited along, as well as anyone else who wants to go.
A similar fast-breaking – or iftaar – was held last year and attracted about 80 people, with tables set up outside the Town Hall and piled with everything from homemade Asian treats to takeaway pizza.
This year, more than 100 people are expected following a bigger publicity campaign.
The event will be held on Saturday, August 11, from 7.30pm until 10pm, and is likely to include speeches, poems and songs.
Ayisha Khurshid, 23, from Freemen's Meadow, Leicester, who is helping to organise the event, said: "We're spreading the word as far as possible and hope to get more than last year.
"There is no single organiser – I just liaise with the city council to get permission and it's everyone else who does all the work, cooking things and bringing the food and tables.
"At Ramadan we're encouraged to share and give back and so we're getting in touch with homeless shelters and similar places and getting them to put up posters to invite everyone.
"But it's an event for absolutely everyone, people of any religion – it's about just coming together and sharing some food.
"People can bring home-cooked food or takeaways, it really doesn't matter.
"Canned drinks and bottled water are also welcome. Any leftovers will be given to the homeless and refugee shelters across Leicester."
Another multi-faith Ramadan event is taking place in Evington, Leicester, on Wednesday, August 15.
From 8.15pm, St Philip's church hall, in Evington Road, will host a community food-sharing event, organised by the Federation of Muslim Organisations in Leicester.
Dr Ashraf Makadam, chairman of the federation, said: "Ramadan is a time for sharing and giving."
Anyone wanting to attend can call or e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org