On August 14, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul hosted its second 2011 Iftar in honor of Ramadan. Ambassador Ryan Crocker, who arrived to Afghanistan in July, hosted the event and welcomed prominent Parliamentarians, including several women, and other Afghan partners. Guests and hosts alike reflected on the meaning of Ramadan and the importance of sharing a meal together.
American Presidents and diplomats have hosted Iftar dinners since 1805, when President Thomas Jefferson held one in honor of Tunisian envoy Sidi Soliman Mellimelli. This year, President Obama continued the tradition with an Iftar at the White House. On that occasion the President said, "Ramadan is a time of reflection and a time of devotion. It's an occasion to join with family and friends in celebration of a faith known for its diversity and a commitment to justice and the dignity of all human beings." Many in attendance in Kabul echoed these sentiments.