August 10th, 2011
10:13 AM ET

Did you know.....

Tonight is President Obama’s 3rd time to host an Iftar dinner.

The term Iftar refers to the meal at the end of the day during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan when people break their daily fast.  Ramadan began on August 1st.  Each year the president has invited guests that include religious and grass-roots leaders in the Muslim-American community as well as leaders of other faiths and elected officials.

The first White House Iftar dinner was hosted by President Thomas Jefferson.  On December 9, 1805, Jefferson hosted “Sidi Soliman Mellimelli, an envoy from the bey (chieftain) of Tunis who spent six months in Washington. The context of Mellimelli’s visit to the United States was a tense dispute over piracy on American merchant vessels by the Barbary states and the capture of Tunisian vessels trying to run an American blockade of Tripoli.  Mellimelli arrived during Ramadan, and Jefferson, when he invited the envoy to the president’s house, changed the meal time from the usual hour of 3:30 p.m. to “precisely at sunset” in deference to the man’s religious obligation.  Jefferson’s knowledge of Islam likely came from his legal studies of natural law. In 1765, Jefferson purchased a two-volume English translation of the Quran for his personal library, a collection that became, in 1815, the basis of the modern Library of Congress.”
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soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. joe

    Obama is kissing the Muslum ass If God Forbid they build a mosque near the trade Center he would show up for its grand openning. Obama has Muslum blood I don't trust Obama He's a Snake Oil Salesman
    where has he done similar events with Christians and Jews

    August 10, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
  2. Howard

    Barack Obama follows the 'Dead Horse' strategy ...

    The tribal wisdom of the Indians, passed on from generation to generation, says that, "When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount." However, with Obama, more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:

    1. Buying a stronger whip.
    2. Changing riders.
    3. Appointing a committee to study the horse.
    4. Arranging to visit other countries to see how other cultures ride dead horses.
    5. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.
    6. Reclassifying the dead horse as living-impaired.
    7. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.
    8. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase speed.
    9. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase dead horse's performance.
    10. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse's performance.
    11. Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses.
    12. Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses.
    And of course....
    13. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.

    August 10, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  3. Lali

    For real innovation, United States needs to step up. (And now I am coefnsud myself as to whether I am writing to Bongo or coefnsud!)Imho, the US should not have been reduced to a level of merely responding to India's and China's environmental issues: the US needed to get out front with Europe and Japan and show the way to the developing countries.Unfortunately, America missed the boat and is now dragging behind and, worse still, either pulling the rest of the world down with it, or not allowing the rest of the world to succeed. In the U.S. there exists a popular and strongly skeptical view of climate science — which means Americans spend more time arguing about details (as on the blog you linked to) and less time doing anything effective to address the effects of climate change.By the way, I found your post after reading this BBC report titled . This kind of report is dreadful to read, but necessary reading I agree that the world is not being helped by the stance that America (at a national level) takes on the climate challenge, though there is a lot that individual Americans, U.S. cities, and states are doing to address it. Yes, I wish the U.S. would take more of a lead in developing new climate-helpful technologies, for a win-win-win-win situation that will benefit people from all nations, rich and poor.

    July 31, 2012 at 1:58 am |