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05DJIBOUTI1096 2005-11-02 12:40:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Djibouti
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					UNCLAS DJIBOUTI 001096 


E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (U) SUMMARY: Embassy Djibouti sponsored a football
tournament for youth, a donation to needy families and four Iftaars
(fast breakings) in honor of the Islamic Holy Month of Ramadan.
PD also distributed President Bush's Ramadan messages to media
outlets and various government officials who subscribe to
Washington File.

2. (U) The Embassy's Ramadan programming kicked-off with a
soccer tournament for youth in conjunction with Hadj Dideh, a
neighborhood youth center. These Ramadan tournaments are a
local tradition much beloved by the children in the local
neighborhoods. Public Diplomacy provided t-shirts (with the
Embassy logo on the front and Tournoi de Ramadan 2005 on the
back) and beverages and prizes for about 225 kids in three age
divisions (boys and girls aged 8-18). The DCM and PD officer
attended the opening and were warmly received by both players
and neighborhood leaders. The Ambassador will give tournament
awards the last week of November.

3. (U) In addition, the Embassy sponsored 150 needy families for
Ramadan in conjunction with Al Biri, a Muslim social service
organization. Post provided staples for the month of Ramadan
through a grant to Al Biri. Cost of the grant was about $10,000 and
goods included rice, flour, oil, canned milk, dates and powdered
juice for the entire month. On October 16 the Ambassador attended
a ceremony at Al Biri and addressed some of the benefiting
families. The event was well-covered by both local television and
print media, including the Ambassador's address, which was given
in Arabic and translated into Somali. See para 5 for the English

4. (U) The Ambassador hosted three Iftaars, one for male
Djiboutian Ministers, Arab ambassadors, male business people and
military. A second was for influential women. A third is for
Islamic Imams, male judges and ministers and the Executive
Secretary of IGAD. The Public Diplomacy Officer hosted a mixed-

gender Iftaar for International Visitors alumni. They served as an
excellent opportunity to bring contacts together and to introduce
influential community members to some of the new staff at
Embassy Djibouti. Iftaar attendees expressed their gratitude for the
consideration the Embassy demonstrated by organizing events for
Ramadan and some have reciprocated with similar invitations for
Embassy staff.

5. (U) Text of Ambassador's speech at Al Biri on Sunday, October
16, 2005 in honor of Ramadan donations.
Start Text:

From a very young age Americans are taught the importance of
sharing their blessings with those less fortunate and that service to
others is the cornerstone of a strong community and a fulfilling
life. These values are also reflected in the Islamic observance of
Ramadan, and we show our respect for and dedication to them by
being here today.

Throughout our history, America has benefited from the success
and contributions of people of many different faiths. Last week
President Bush sent greetings to all those observing Ramadan. In
his message, he noted the many ways American citizens of Muslim
faith have helped make the United States a stronger, more hopeful
place through their faith, generosity and compassion. We are proud
that all Americans, no matter their race, religion or ethnicity, can
share these values.

At the American Embassy we saw these values reflected in Al
Biri's dedication to those in Djibouti who most need help. I'd like
to take this opportunity to say that we value your efforts. We'd also
like to thank you for helping us identify and assist those in need.
This ceremony today is a symbol of what two groups with the
common goal of community service can accomplish together.
Thank you for your cooperation. Thank you for your dedication.
Thank you for your compassion for others. Ramadan karim.

End text.