‘Turning Strangers into Friends’ Open Iftar Named Best Live Event 2023

Open Iftar, a community meal hosted at some of the UK’s most iconic venues was named the Best Live Event at the 2023 Asian Media Awards.

The stars of radio, TV and broadcasting gathered at the 11th AMA ceremony at the Hilton Manchester Deansgate.

The awards, which are supported by the University of Salford, celebrated winners in a range of categories in journalism, stage, online and creative media and were hosted by Magic FM’s Neev Spencer.


Those honoured on the night included broadcaster Tina Daheley, LBC presenter Sangita Myska and Mihir Bose who received the Outstanding Contribution to Media Award. This year Meera Syal and Sanjeev Bhaskar were recognised with the Sophiya Haque Services to Television, Film and Theatre Award.

Some of the iconic venues and spaces in the country became the backdrop for ‘Open Iftars’ the sunset meal enjoyed by Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan.

From the Royal Albert Hall, Wembley Stadium to Trafalgar Square and Villa Park, the events aimed to encourage people from all backgrounds and cultures to meet and eat.

The project has shed light on Muslim traditions and also helped to bring whole communities together – some of whom who would never have an opportunity to engage with one another.

Led by the Ramadan Project has connected over 500,000 people across the country, since 2013.

Amad Afzal, a Trustee at the Ramadan Tent Project said: “I am really grateful we have been nominated and given the award.

“It is always nice to see the hard work not just of myself but also the countless volunteers who have supported us over the past ten years.

“The purpose of the event is to bring communities together so we can better understand each other and we do this by having the event held in various locations around the country.

“We simply get people to break bread and our motto is to turn strangers into friends.”

Earlier speaking to the audience Amad said: “As this award ceremony is about celebrating the great contribution our community has given us, I cannot help but mention the heartbreak we are seeing in the Middle East.

“Such tragedies are truly devastating and seeing the division has caused in our community only serves as a reminder of the importance of the work we all have in this room.

“That is to speak the truth, persevere despite any setbacks, to soften hearts and ultimately make each individual realise we have more in common than we think.”

This year’s Asian Media Awards winners were announced at the Hilton Manchester Deansgate on Friday October 27.

Previous recipients of an Asian Media Award include Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Waris Hussein, Art Malik, Mehdi Hasan, Nina Wadia, Anita Rani, Shobna Gulati, Faisal Islam, Adil Ray & Lisa Aziz.

The University of Salford are Premier Partners to the Asian Media Awards.

Partners to the awards include ITV, EssenceMediaCom, Reach PLC & Women In Journalism.

The awards are also supported by Manchester Metropolitan University, AMT Lawyers, DKR Accountants, Opus Broadband, Hilton Manchester Deansgate, Fritz AV, Payal Events & Cleartwo.

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