President Pendarovski hosts Iftar Dinner on the occasion of the Ramadan fasting

28 March 2024 | Press Releases

President Stevo Pendarovski hosted and addressed the Iftar Dinner, which he organized on the occasion of the Ramadan fasting, on the eve of the great Muslim holiday Ramadan Bayram.

The dinner was attended by state government officials, business community representatives, representatives of religious communities, representatives of the academic community, political parties, media and civil society organizations, as well as representatives of the diplomatic corps.

In accordance with the Islamic religious customs, the Head of the Islamic Religious Community, Reis-ul-Ulema Shakir Effendi Fetai, delivered the concluding prayer.

Below is the integral address of President Pendarovski.

Distinguished Reis-ul-Ulema,
Respected heads of religious communities,
Dear attendees,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you for accepting my invitation to attend this gathering and share this Iftar dinner together.

The holiest month in Islam, Ramadan, is a time for spiritual recovery, for renewing relations with relatives and friends, but also for mercy and solidarity towards the weak. Just as the Ramadan fasting is a personal ordeal of inner self-examination, so is the Iftar dinner a communal act of social justice because it involves making a place at the table for those who have less. This is especially important in times of global crises that stroke the most vulnerable and the poorest hardest.

However, apart from deepening faith in the life of the believer, the Iftar dinner is also an opportunity to deepen coexistence in the Macedonian society.

For our ancestors, there was no greater honor than that someone with a different faith to invite them to a festive table. When a Muslim invites you to Iftar, or when a Christian gives an Easter egg, it is a way of saying that he respects your diversity and accepts you as you are. That is what we are doing tonight.

In the past years, I was also honored by many of our fellow citizens – Muslims who opened their homes and heartily shared their table with me and my colleagues. By sharing food, we also share humanity and through conversation we remind ourselves that the person who is different from us is a person equally valuable as we are, with similar or identical life’s sorrows and joys.

Dear guests,

It is true that we have different faiths, we go to different temples, we read different holy books. But what connects us is inter-ethnic and inter-religious coexistence as our greatest value that we must protect and we will not compromise on that. Coexistence must not be a victim of daily political interests, especially during election years. Any electoral victory at the expense of coexistence would be equal to a defeat for our common homeland Macedonia.

That is why we are here tonight, to say that we will not allow provocations and tensions on that topic. We are here to set an example for all our citizens, that we can live together despite our differences in religious beliefs, as it has been since time immemorial.

Allow me, once again, to wish you an easy fast and, on the eve of Ramadan Bayram, to congratulate you on the great holiday. Have pleasant days filled with happiness, joy and prosperity.

Thank you.




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