Mayor Dennis Tyler and other members of the community gathered to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan with Muncie’s Islamic population on Saturday at the Minnetrista Cultural Center.

The Islamic Center of Muncie and the Muslim Alliance of Indiana helped organize the event and Damask Café and Maadi Grill brought food for the community to eat.

Ramadan falls on the ninth month of the Islamic year and it marks the revelation of the Quran to Prophet Muhammad.

Ramadan falls on the ninth month of the Islamic year and it marks the revelation of the Quran to Prophet Muhammad.

Muslims throughout the world fast from food, water, smoking and sexual relations in an effort to cleanse themselves and spiritually reflect. Another part of the holy month is charity and for individuals to understand the hardships of people who are less fortunate.

Tyler described the event as a celebration of “life, freedom, diversity and an open community.”

“What I love about my city as much as anything is how we open our arms to everyone who wants to be part of our great city,” he said.

He also presented proclamation that gave the definition of the holy month of Ramadan and encouraged citizens to reach out to Muncie’s Islamic community.

“I, as mayor of this great city, urge all citizens to encourage, respect and support our Muslim brothers and sisters during their time and devotion," Tyler said. "Strive to gain a better understanding of their way of life and to acknowledge and appreciate their efforts to contribute to the betterment of society for all residents in our great community."

Murat Gonulalan, a Muncie resident, told the Daily News that Ramadan is important for Muslims because it teaches the values of sharing and getting a glimpse inside the life of someone who is less fortunate.

“If you don’t feel real hunger then you can’t understand how the hungry people feel, he said, “[If] you fast you can limit your food, water [and] you have more spiritual feelings.”

Jessica Terry, is related to the owner of Maadi and believes Muncie is on the right track when it comes to bringing communities together.

“I think Ball State has actually helped a lot with the [diverse] population it brings in,” she said. “The more events that help celebrate great diversity I think the better. Hopefully that will spread to all of Muncie not just Ball State or this certain area.”

Asma Bahrami, Muncie resident, who has lived here her entire life said she has always felt welcome here.

“Even if there wasn’t the most diversity at all times I’ve always felt really welcomed and my family has always felt really welcomed.” Bahrami said, “I think the people here are so genuine and so caring and so nice.”

She believes the event was a great opportunity to educate the community about the holy month and its importance.

“It’s a great way to build bridges between us,” she said. “We are definitely taking a lot of great steps in the right direction.”