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Brigadier George Norton, Regional Command Southwest deputy commander, and Brig. Gen. Malouk, 215th Corps commander, greet each other during an iftar celebration at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan Aug. 26. Iftar, an evening meal between friends and family, ends the fast held from dawn to sunset every day during the holy Islamic month of Ramadan.::r::::n::

Photo by Cpl. Brian Gabriel

Coalition leadership celebrate iftar together

26 Aug 2010 | Cpl. Brian Gabriel

Afghan leadership celebrated iftar with Regional Command Southwest leadership, Aug. 26. Iftar, or the meal breaking a fast, is a religious observance practiced during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Coalition forces leadership, including Maj. Gen. Richard P. Mills, commander of RC(SW), and Brig. Gen. Malouk, 215th Corps commander, celebrated the daily evening meal that breaks the Ramadan fast together.

“We know this is a very important month for the Islam calendar—it is a month dedicated to peace and reflection,” Mills said. “And hopefully Afghanistan in the years ahead will be a place where you can truly be in peace during the very important month of Ramadan.”

Mills expressed his pleasure with the partnership between Afghans and Americans.

“I know with the strong partnership we have forged, the training we receive together, the operations that we conduct together, and the warrior spirit we share together, that victory is within our grasp,” Mills said.

Malouk spoke about the strong bond between the Afghans and coalition forces.

“As I look at everyone else at this table, they look to me like my brothers, they look to me like Afghans,” Malouk said.

Mills ended the evening meal of lamb, rice, corn and fish by reflecting on the current status of Afghanistan and expressing his desire to see a more prosperous country.

“I look forward to the year I can come back to Helmand province and celebrate with a swim in the Kajaki Dam, a round of golf at the Marjah country club, and perhaps a feast in a Lashkar Gah restaurant,” Mills said.