Manitoba

Winnipeg game night unites Muslims, non-Muslims alike

A group of Winnipeggers got together to strengthen bonds and play games with members of the Muslim community Monday night.

Night of games at Across the Board Cafe gives people a chance to see each other 'as they are'

Gamers got together at Across the Board Cafe in the Exchange District Monday night as part of 'Playing for Peace,' a night meant to help build relationships between Muslims and the rest of the community. (CBC)

A group of Winnipeggers got together to strengthen bonds and play games with members of the Muslim community Monday night.

"Playing for Peace," a night of free table top games, was held at the Across the Board Cafe and hosted by the Islamic Social Services Association.

"When we had the bombings in Paris and Beirut, there kind of was a moment when I thought, 'You know what, we need to do something," said Clinton Skivitzky, the organizer of the event.

Skivitzky came up with the idea after reading about a café in Jerusalem that was giving Palestinian and Israeli customers 50 per cent off if they dined together.

"I thought, 'That is an awesome way to mix people,'" he said. "Board games are a really fantastic way to get to know someone in a really safe environment, in a structured sense.

"[It] lets you meet them and learn about their personality and really get to see them as they are."

Doors opened at 5 p.m. and the place filled up in no time.

Mike Hofer attended the event. He's been to similar board game events in Winnipeg and said it's a great place to meet new people.

"Everyone can bond over a common interest," said Hofer. "I met a number of my closest friends through table top gaming."

Former Winnipeg Blue Bombers' offensive lineman Obby Khan helped keep people fed at the event with food from his restaurant, Shawarma Khan.

"Tonight is about Muslims and non-Muslims hanging out together and just sharing stories and having some fun," Khan said. "I think it's the duty of everyone to stand up for what's common sense and what's right and what's wrong."

Shawarma Khan provided food for everyone who donated $10 or more to the Red Cross Red Crescent campaign to help Syrian refugees.

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