Councillors, local religious leaders, people involved in charities and the police were invited to the Aisha Mosque in Earley to break fast during Ramadan. We were also given a tour and taught about the philosophy behind the tradition. I’d never been in a mosque before but as Aisha Mosque is a converted office block no-one would think it’s a mosque by passing by. We were given a warm welcome and placed our shoes in well organised metal squares fixed to the wall. A imam talked to us about Ramadan and my fellow Councillor, Shahid Younis, talked about the need to build bridges between the different communities in the local area. We were given a full tour and observed prayer. It was impressive to come across a vast room with a carpet with rug designs all tilted to one side to face Mecca. It finished off by us being treated to food including dates which are apparently popular during the breaking of fast. Local people praying also mixed with us, talking about various issues including the EU Ref. I even met a man named Ramadan! We ladies were not asked to wear headscarves but we wore them out of respect and I think it was appreciated. Like a fool the scarf I chose was made of material that kept slipping and sliding so eventually I took it off. I’d never worn one before and thought I’d be self-concious but I forgot it was there after a while. The visit was very interesting and brilliant for a community to be strengthening bonds. It’s on my reading list to read The Koran one day. The visit has made it higher up on my list!