Iftar is one of the most celebrated events during the holy month of Ramadan. This year, COVID-19 struck the world on a global scale, and altered the decades-old tradition in just a matter of weeks. Every year, BYLC in association with BYLC Graduate Network (BGN), schedules an iftar with their alumni to refresh long-cherished memories, meet new and old graduates, and rejuvenate the power of effective leadership. Although COVID-19 has made it quite impossible to arrange such a mass-level gathering physically, BYLC chose to continue the tradition this year as well, just a little differently.
Using the popular video conferencing app Zoom, BYLC, in association with BGN, held their first-ever virtual iftar event titled “Virtual BYLC Alumni Iftar 2020” on Thursday, May 21, 2020. This time, it was not just about cherishing memories and catching up with old friends. Now, it also focused on showcasing the noble work done by BYLC’s graduates in the front lines, battling against the COVID-19 situation.
Attended by over 110 participants, the iftar was a huge success, bringing BYLC graduates from across the world on a single platform under the dialogue “Share the Happiness”. BYLC graduates from home and abroad came together to share their experiences during this time of crisis. BYLC showcased the inspiring stories of seven organizations run by BYLC graduates – Youth Movements, Surge Bangladesh, SONGKOLPO Foundation, Campaign RED, Bandhu Foundation of Bangladesh, Astha Foundation, and Alokito Shishu. The representatives of the organizations shared their experiences of fighting this pandemic and helping marginalized communities across the country. The showcase was followed by an inspiring speech by BYLC’s founder president, Ejaj Ahmad. In his speech, he urged the graduates to invest in their skills in order to stay upgraded with this challenging world. The president additionally invited the graduates to enroll in the 45 courses available in the new and improved online platform of BYLCx, x.bylc.org.
The event commenced with recitation from the Holy Qur’an and duwa. People from different time zones attending the event broke their fast sitting at their home maintaining social distance yet staying virtually connected to each other. This one of a kind event was inspiring for a lot of the guests and perhaps even monumental in shaping the way we see the future of public events and social gatherings.