U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Reaches out to Local Community through Iftars

July 16, 2014

In celebration of the holy month of Ramadan, U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Matthew H. Tueller hosted an Iftar for a group of local religious leaders and educators on Tuesday evening, July 15.   This Iftar was one in a series of Iftars hosted by Ambassador Tueller and Deputy Chief of Mission Karen Sasahara for journalists, civil society leaders, economic and political figures, and leaders of women’s groups.

Addressing the group Tuesday evening, Ambassador Tueller said, “Having recently arrived in Yemen, I appreciate this opportunity to welcome members from the community of religious leaders and religious educators who play such an important role in Yemini society.”  He added, “Ramadan is a time to reflect upon Islam’s message of compassion, generosity, and faith.  These are values that Islam shares with other great religions.” Noting that President Obama had hosted an Iftar in the White House to honor the American Muslim community the night before, Ambassador Tueller shared with his guests some of the President’s remarks at the White House:  “For Muslims, Ramadan is a time of reflection, a chance to demonstrate one’s devotion to God through prayer and through fasting.  But it’s also a time for family and friends to come together — as we do tonight — in a spirit of love and respect, to renew our obligations to one another, as well as to renew our commitment to our neighbors and helping the most needy among us.”

Ambassador Tueller noted that the people of Yemen are understandably concerned about violence around the country as they endure the hardships of daily life, especially power, water, and fuel shortages.  He said, “It is the hope of my government and the international community that Yemen will one day be a country without violence and bloodshed, and where the people will benefit from the economic prosperity they deserve.  This future can become a reality for Yemen.”

Ambassador Tueller concluded his remarks by wishing the guests “Ramadan kareem.”