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Muslims hope governor will host Ramadan meal

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ The Governor's Mansion could be the site of a dinner honoring the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, if the officials can approve the request on such a short notice.

At the first meeting of the Governor's Ethnic American Advisory Council members during their first meeting voted to draft a letter asking Gov. Brad Henry to host the Muslim community one evening during Ramadan, which goes from Oct. 16 to Nov. 15 this year.

``We can even provide the food _ make it easier for the governor's staff,'' said council member Mohammad J. Farzaneh of Norman.

Because of the short notice, members of the Muslim community could be disappointed, said Hank Batty, deputy administrator for programs in the Office of Personnel Management.

``It will come as no surprise to you that the governor is a very, very busy man, and it may not be possible this year,'' Batty told members of the council.

Former President Clinton began holding a Ramadan meal at the White House during his administration, and President Bush has continued the tradition.

During Ramadan, adult Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, when they break the fast with a meal known as ``iftar,'' said council member Malaka Elyazgi, also of Norman.

Henry created the diversity panel by executive order in May to advise him about policies and programs to meet the needs and to protect the civil liberties of Oklahomans from the Middle East.

He appointed nine people to the council, but one resigned before Friday's first meeting.

The remaining eight elected Sandra Kay Rana of Broken Arrow as their chairman. Marjaneh Seirafi-Pour of Norman was chosen vice chairman and secretary.
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