The Embassy of the United States of America in Brunei Darussalam hosted an Iftar, or Sungkai, event with U.S. exchange program alumni, colleagues from several government agencies, NGO leaders and media representatives at De ‘Olde Cottage in Kampung Kiulap today.
Public Affairs Officer Jeff Barrus welcomed guests to the event by sharing, “In the United States, it has become a tradition for the President to host an annual Iftar dinner at the White House and it is an opportunity for the President to convey appreciation for the contributions of Muslim Americans in the United States.”
Barrus noted that there are more than 3.5 million Muslims in the United States practicing their religion in all 50 states.
The Sungkai get-together with friends is an annual U.S. Embassy tradition during the month of Ramadan, offering an opportunity to foster closer people-to-people ties through cultural exchange, and to build more awareness of U.S. Embassy programs and exchange opportunities of interest to Bruneians.
2019 Fulbright U.S.-ASEAN Visiting Scholar alumni Dr. Hilmy Baihaqy bin Yussof led a prayer before the breaking of the fast. During the course of the evening, guests engaged in lively discussions about Brunei’s local culture, the significance of Ramadan, and common practices for American Muslims. Guests also learned about U.S. Embassy exchange programs such as the Fulbright Program, the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI), the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD) and other study abroad opportunities in the United States.