Principal Foez Dewan, who helped organise the event, explained: “We thought that it would be a nice gesture, particularly respective of our Islamic clients and contacts, if we hold an event. We started last year, and we thought we would continue the tradition.”
CEO from Deputy, Ashik Ahmed, was a guest speaker. Central to his speech was how the teachings and lessons of Islam have assisted in building his business – which Mr Dewan said came “out of nothing”.
Mr Ahmed moved to Australia twenty years ago as a young migrant, initially taking a job at Hungry Jack’s on a wage barely enough to keep his family afloat. Today, he is CEO of his own business – co-founded with Steve Shelley – which provides workplace management solutions to other companies. At the end of 2018, it raised over $100 million.
While the Iftar dinner was an idea proposed by Mr Dewan, he said the success of the event – both this year and last – was a “team effort”, with many of the McCabe Curwood employees coming together to coordinate the event. The firm has since received numerous messages of gratitude from clients that attended.
“When I raised it with [Managing Principal] Andrew [Lacey] last year, he was very receptive,” said Mr Dewan. “We’re proud of [the celebration of diversity]. It’s not only that we talk about diversity, but we embrace it.”
Along with the dinner itself, with the fast officially broken at around 5pm, the evening also created the opportunity to socialise and connect with others that attended. With just under 40 guests, it was an intimate event, many choosing to stay behind following the end of the celebration.
The prospect of McCabe Curwood’s Iftar dinner becoming an annual event excites Mr Dewan, creating the chance to continue this celebration in the years to come.
“It made me and certainly other people who came to the event – particularly from the Muslim community – feel like [we] are being appreciated. Not that they need our validity in any way, but it was just that we were all celebrating the diversity.”
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