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President Obama late Thursday celebrated Ramadan with a traditional dinner in the State Dining Room, saying that throughout the nation’s history, “Islam has contributed to the character of our country.”

In remarks before the Iftar dinner, eaten by Muslims after sunset to end the day of fasting, Obama quoted from the Koran, according to a White House pool report. “As the Koran teaches, whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see its results.”

“Muslim-Americans and their good works have helped to build our nation, and we’ve seen the results,” he added.

Obama, who has hosted five Iftar dinners, focused on entrepreneurship during much of his speech.

“Every day, Muslim-Americans are helping to shape the way that we think and the way that we work and the way that we do business,” he said. “And that’s the spirit that we celebrate tonight — the dreamers, the creators whose ideas are pioneering new industries, creating new jobs and unleashing new opportunities for all of us.”

Obama recognized three entrepreneurs, including Shazi Visram, the founder and chief executive of Happy Family Organic Superfoods; Aunim Hossain, chief executive of Tista Games; and Iya Khalil, who co-founded GNS Healthcare, a biotech research company.

“So Shazi, Aunim, Iya and so many of you who have traveled here tonight — each of you have traveled your own path, but each of you have also lived out an American story.

“And of course, this isn’t just the American Dream; it’s the aspiration of people around the world. It’s the basic human desire for progress, to find dignity that comes from work, to give our children something better.”

Members of Congress, local elected officials and dozens of ambassadors were on the White House guest list.


Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
July 25, 2013
Expected Attendees at the White House Iftar Dinner
This evening, the President will continue a White House tradition of hosting an Iftar celebrating Ramadan in the State Dining Room. This is the fifth Iftar hosted by the President. The Iftar is the meal that breaks the day of fasting, when Muslim families and communities eat together after sunset.
Below is a list of some of the expected attendees at tonight’s White House dinner
celebrating Ramadan:
Members of Congress:
• The Honorable Debbie Stabenow, United States Senator, Michigan
• The Honorable André Carson, United States Representative, Indiana
• The Honorable John Dingell, United States Representative, Michigan
• The Honorable Keith Ellison, United States Representative, Minnesota
• The Honorable Eliot Engel, United States Representative, New York
• The Honorable Dan Kildee, United States Representative, Michigan
Local Elected Officials:
Mayor Arjumand Hashmi, City of Paris, TX
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, 6th District, Michigan House of Representatives Diplomatic Corps:
Suleiman Salem Hammad Abulhul, Charge d’Affaires of Libya
His Excellency Lukman Al Faily, Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq
Her Excellency Hunaina Al Mughairy, Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman
His Excellency Mohamed Abdullah M. Al Rumaihi, Ambassador of the State of Qatar
His Excellency Mohammed Al-Hussaini Al Sharif, Ambassador of the League of Arab States, Arab League Mission
His Excellency Adel Ahmed Al-Jubeir, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi, Arabia
His Excellency Yousef Mana Saeed Alotaiba, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates, Embassy of the United Arab Emirates
Adel Ali Ahmed Alsunaini, Charge d’Affaires of the Republic of Yemen
His Excellency Abdallah Baali, Ambassador of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria
His Excellency Othman Bin Hashim, Ambassador of Malaysia
His Excellency Seydou Bouda, Ambassador of Burkina Faso
His Excellency Rachad Bouhlal, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco
Her Excellency Alia Mohamad Bouran, Ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
His Excellency Antoine Chedid, Ambassador of the Lebanese Republic
His Excellency Blaise Cherif, Ambassador of the Republic of Guinea
Kais Darragi, Charge D’affaires of the Tunisian Republic
His Excellency Maitine Djoumbe, Ambassador of the Republic of Chad
His Excellency Muktar Djumaliev, Ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic
His Excellency Mohamed El Haycen, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania
His Excellency Bienvenu Joseph Charles Foe-Atangana, Ambassador of the Republic of Cameroon
His Excellency Gilbert Galanxhi, Ambassador of the Republic of Albania
His Excellency Bakhtiyar Gulyamov, Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan
His Excellency Eklil Hakimi, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Baboucarr Jallow, Charge d’Affaires of the Gambia
His Excellency Bayney Karran, Ambassador of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana
His Excellency Al Maamoun Keita, Ambassador of the Republic of Mali
Asad Majeed Khan, Charge d’Affaires of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
His Excellency Michael Moussa-Adamo, Ambassador of the Gabonese Republic
His Excellency Stanislas Moussa-Kembe, Ambassador, Central African Republic
Her Excellency Liberata Rutageruka Mulamula, Ambassador of the United Republic of Tanzania
His Excellency Cheik Niang, Ambassador of the Republic of Senegal
Her Excellency Huda Ezra Ebrahim Nonoo, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain
His Excellency Segbe Oguin, Ambassador of the Republic of Benin
His Excellency Roble Olhaye, Ambassador of the Republic of Djibouti
His Excellency Akramul Qader, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh
His Excellency Ebrahim Rasool, Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa
His Excellency Maman Sidikou, Ambassador of the Republic of Niger
His Excellency Elin Suleymanov, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan
His Excellency Namik Tan, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey
His Excellency Mohamed Mostafa Mohamed Tawfik, Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt
His Excellency Kairat Umarov, Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Her Excellency Oliver Wonekha, Ambassador of the Republic of Uganda
His Excellency Dato Paduka Yusoff Abd Hamid, Ambassador of the State of Brunei Darussalam
His Excellency Adebowale Adefuye, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
His Excellency Daouda Diabate, Ambassador of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire
His Excellency Sheikh Salem Al-Sabah, Ambassador of the State of Kuwait

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