Córdoba Bread Fest:Children of Abraham Break Bread Together

Córdoba Bread Fest explores the links between the Abrahamic traditions while strengthening understanding of our own faiths. In celebrating something as basic as bread, we can transcend our differences in a warm, nourishing environment where interfaith dialogue spontaneously happens.”

Daisy Khan, Executive Director, ASMA Society

On June 8th, Daisy Khan of ASMA held an interfaith event “Córdoba Bread Fest: Children of Abraham Break Bread Together” in collaboration with interfaith partners including B’nai Jeshurun Synagogue, St. Bartholomew’s church, the Catholic Archdiocese of New York, Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, Islamic Cultural Center of NY, Islamic Center of Long Island, NY Association of New Americans, St. Paul & St. Andrews Methodist Church, Riverside Church, and the UJA-Federation of New York.

The theatrical context of this event was Córdoba, Spain, where a great flowering of culture, art, philosophical inquiry took place in the mid 700’s, amid a climate of religious tolerance. Reigning with wisdom, faith and justice, Muslims lived in harmony with Christians and Jews.

Córdoba Bread Fest Children of abraham Jews Christians Muslims in NY dressed in Muslim clothing

The Bread Fest envisioned a future of tolerance and peace between different religions despite intractable differences and enduring hostilities, a future that can be as vibrant and exciting as we want it to be, and that future—our future—is what this is really all about.”

“We decided to celebrate bread tonight because it is living metaphor for what unites us as human beings.  Bread doesn’t worry about politics, it doesn’t worry about race or religion.  Bread is common to all cultures and all peoples, .it is a warm, wonderful reminder of our shared humanity.

The Play - Opening

As the audience enters the entire cast of characters is on stage all in a tableau in the style of the painting of Dionisio Baixeras, Reception with Caliph Abd al-Rahman III in Medina ai-Zahra. Low murmurings of various conversations can be heard, some one singing, another is eating, while another is smoking a pipe.

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The Audience

Over 300 Christians, Jews and Muslims gathered together at New York’s St. Bartholomew’s Church to celebrate one thing common to the religion, daily life and community of the three Abrahamic faiths: Bread.

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The Children

Children of all faiths served baskets of bread to the guests, symbolizing the future of Córdoba in New York and around the world

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The Christian Segment

Christians retold the story of Jesus’ Last Supper, loaves and fishes, and the Eucharist, followed by the lovely sounds of the SPSA Chamber Ensemble; But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever. Psalms: 52:8

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The Jewish Segment

The Jewish segment paid homage to the traditional bread breaking done on the Sabbath.

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The Muslim Segment

It is He Who has spread out the earth for (His) creatures:
Therein is fruit and date-palms, producing spathes (enclosing dates);
Also corn, with (its) leaves and stalk for fodder, and sweet-smelling plants.
Then which of the favors of your Lord will ye deny?
Sura al-Rahman [55:11]

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Paintings by Salma Arastu