District Six finds a moment of healing

Members of the Muslim community in District Six pray during the community iftar.

About 50 people of various faiths attended District Six’s first community iftar in two years on Saturday.

The meal eaten after sunset by Muslims during Ramadaan was organised by the Upper District Six Neighbourhood Watch and the District Six Civic Association. Ward councillor Francine Higham was also there.

The iftar was meant to be held in the Rutger Street park but was moved closer to a resident’s home in Pontac Street because of the windy weather on Saturday night.

It was Ms Highham’s second iftar for the weekend after she attended one in Bo-Kaap the night before. “You can really sense it in the community that they are grateful that after two years they can be spending this time together in the community again,” she said.

Neighbourhood watch committee member Anthea Bredenkamp said: “District Six has always had its challenges over the years, and this is the one time during the year that people can pull together during this holy month.

And the civic association’s chairwoman, Asa Salie, said the iftar was a special one as it brought together people who had been isolated from each other by the pandemic. “This community needs to heal,” she said. “If there is any time they can heal, it can be now.”

Ward 77 councillor Francine Higham, left, and District Six Civic Association chairperson Asa Salie enjoying the community iftar.
The District Six community socialising during the iftar.
Enjoying the iftar from left, Abdullah Alhareth, Amer Alneh and Haithm Ali.