Day 5 – Washington D.C., Masjid Muhammad

Xavier is ten years old and attends KIP elementary. He devours a watermelon slice sitting next to me and talks about his school. “I’m in fifth grade.” he says, “the school I go to is called Knowledege is P…”  He pauses and realizes he doesn’t know what the P stands for, but swears it’s not Power. Xavier and I are sitting together breaking our fast at Masjid Mohammad, but Xavier

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Day 4 – Pennsylvania, Bawa’s Fellowship, A Photo Essay (Pt. 2)

We arrive in Coatesville, PA around 5:30 PM at the East Fallowfield farm.  It is cold and cloudy. I get out of our Chevy Cobalt and walk towards something called the “Bawa Garden.” The stop here is supposed to be a short one. We are scheduled to be at United Muslim Mosque in Philadelphia for break fast.  We are greeted by a man named Chuck who meets us with three

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Day 4 – Pennsylvania, United Muslim Masjid in Philadelphia (Pt. 1)

Apparently it’s not an uncommon sight in Philadelphia to see female parking meter attendants that cover up their faces in full niqab. It’s that kind of “I’m Muslim, so you’re just going to have to deal with it” attitude that’s so refreshing to me. Before coming to Philly, I asked many of my friends there which place I should check out when I come. Every single one of them pointed

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Day 3 – Massachusetts, Islamic Society of Boston

I am sitting at a table poking the desert on my plate. Not sure what it’s called, but it’s probably not good for my already troubled stomach [CLICK PHOTO TO READ MORE]

Day 2 – Maine, Refugees in Portland (Pt. 2)

Before heading out to Boston today, Bassam and I stayed in Maine a bit longer to meet a large refugee population of people from Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan and Sudan. [CLICK THE PHOTO TO READ MORE]

Day 2 – Maine, Islamic Society of Augusta (Pt. 1)

Sitting among the 12 families that make up Augusta’s Muslim community, where the nearest halal restaurant is 45 minutes away, made me forget all about New York. [CLICK PHOTO TO READ MORE]

Day 1 – New York, Ground Zero Mosque (Pt. 2)

Bassam and I walked into the “Ground Zero Mosque” expecting to feel transformed, knowing the fact that I was praying inside the place that’s practically been mentioned in the news every 20 minutes. [CLICK THE PHOTO TO READ MORE]

Day 1 – New York, Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood (Pt. 1)

It was nice to be welcomed back to the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood (MIB) with its trademark green cement. We visited this mosque last year during our NYC trek. It was one of the most hospitable and historical centers we visited [click photo to read more]

Ramadan Mubarak!

Tomorrow, Thursday begins the first step in our next Ramadan adventure. We will be starting from the Masjid of Islamic Brotherhood in Harlem and will be heading out to Augusta, Maine in the morning. If you are in the New York City area, please do come out and catch us.

Pardon Our Dust

Our website will be going under some revamping in the next two to three days. Our content from the NYC Ramadan adventure will be shifted. If you have any suggestions of what you’d like added, please do tell us.

Let the Countdown Begin!

Hmm, I should print t-shirts that say “30 Mosques 2010 Road Tour.” Actually, I’m still single, so I should probably not. We’re a little more than two weeks away before we start our journey and many of you guys have asked us where we’re going. Here’s the official list and we hope to meet a lot of you guys if we come through your neck of the woods. Above is

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Join the 30 Mosques movement!

One of the things we’re blessed to have is you all rooting us on during this project. When we did 30 Mosques in 30 Days around New York City last year, it always blew our mind that people in countries as far as Vietnam and Australia were following our trek. This year though, rather than having you guys sit on the sidelines, we want to welcome you all in and

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30 Mosques in 30 States

So there’s a change of plans. After scratching our heads in two different parts of the world (Aman in the United States and me, Bassam, in Pakistan), we’re going to step away from the 30 countries idea and try something cool that we’ll be able to pull off this year. Aman and I just got off the phone confirming that starting August 11th or 12th — depending on the moon,

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30 Mosques – What’s Next?

Salams and Happy New Year! Aman and I would like to thank everyone for following us last year on our Ramadan adventures in NYC. We never expected such an overwhelming response from such a small project.  Now that the new year is here, we wanted to unveil the idea for this year’s Ramadan. Our vision is to share the Ramadan experiences of 30 individuals from 30 different countries. Ideally, one

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Eid Celebration Revisited

The following post was written by Nzinga Knight, a New York based fashion designer who grew up attending Masjid Khalifa in Brooklyn. Becoming an eveningwear designer evolved out of me wanting to have the right dress for Eid. At my mosque then people go hard for Eid. The cooks put their heart into the food, we have an entertainment program that is unrivaled, and people come out dressed in their

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Day 30: Celebration

I’ve seen many spectacular sights in my short lifetime and tonight I have come up with the top four: 1. The ka’bah in Makkah, Saudi Arabia 2. Prophet Muhammad’s mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia 3. Masjid Al-Aqsa in Palestine 4. Seeing a niqabi in Brooklyn get down on Eid After tonight, I have to bump the birth of my nephew down to number 5. I hope my brother doesn’t mind.

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Things are almost coming to an end. Stay tuned for our final posts. Don’t worry, we won’t overstay our welcome. Promise.

My attempt to disappear

The following is a post written by Musa Syeed, a close friend of the 30 Mosques project who did itikaf during Ramadan. Itikaf involves spending the final nights at the mosque during Ramadan secluded in worship. After a few thwarted attempts, my plan was at last finalized. And it seemed pretty tight, I had all my supplies. I would make my getaway on the R train, and ride it straight

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Day 29: Islamic Center at NYU

What better place to end the month of Ramadan than with one of the beacons for the Muslim community in New York, the Islamic Center at NYU. This is the on campus center for  Muslim students at New York University, but under the leadership of Imam Khalid Latif,  this place has bloomed into one of the most popular hotspots for New York City’s entire Muslim community. Khalid Latif works double

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Day 28: Islamic Cultural Center

I was on an emotional roller coaster today. I woke up jumping for joy about NPR doing a second story on us, this time now the entire country knows how beautiful New York’s Muslim community is. Then, I looked outside my apartment window to see that my car had been towed. To make a long story short, I spent 4 hours and $240 recovering my car that a construction company

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Day 27: Masjid El-Ber of Astoria

What a day today. I started off my morning talking about 30 Mosques on the Brian Lehrer show on NPR. We had a great conversation and hope you enjoy it. For the rest of this journey, I will be Bassam-less because he is in Texas spending the last remaining days of Ramadan with his family. So tonight, I visited Masjid El-Ber in Queens. I had heard of this place before

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Day 26: Masjid at-Taqwa

Tonight, Bassam and I went to Brooklyn to visit one of New York’s finest mosques, Masjid At-Taqwa. This is the mosque of Imam Siraj Wahhaj, one of the US’ leading Muslim scholars and also one of the most sought after public speakers. I’m sure anyone who has met Imam Siraj has a story about how he impacted his/her life, but for me, he’s one of the people that mentored me

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Masjid Khalifa Revisited

The following post was written by Nzinga Knight, a New York based fashion designer who grew up in this mosque. Masjid Muhsi Khalifa is my home mosque. Like the theme song for Cheers, Masjid Khalifa is the place where everybody knows my name and they’re always glad that I came. Since 1975 this Mosque has been under the leadership of the late Warith D Mohammed. I began going to Muhsi

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Day 24: Masjid Khalifah

Tonight our journey learning about New York City’s rich Muslim roots led us to Masjid Khalifah in Brooklyn. Decades ago pioneers planted the seeds in hopes of developing a community. The people you meet now are the flowers that have blossomed from it. This is one of the many temples that Malcom X and his then Nation of Islam congregants helped establish in the late 1950s. They passed by this

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Day 23: The Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood

“How’s my hair?” The most sensible question to ask the residents close to the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood (MIB), clearly. Today, Aman and I were going to be on NY1, a local news network, for our 30 mosques project. Since I have a tendency to look  awkward in front of a camera I wanted to cross my t’s and dot my i’s before they turned on. Aman, on the other

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Day 22: Albanian Islamic Cultural Center

Staten Island definitely has some of the most precious hidden gems in New York City’s Muslim community. So tonight Bassam and I were joined by our homey Jordan Robinson and together we hopped on a ferry to Staten Island to do some treasure hunting. Hello Statue of Liberty. We got off the ferry and took a short cab ride to our destination the Albanian Islamic Cultural Center. Before I begin

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Day 21: Harlem Islamic Cultural Center

Today we visited this new masjid that was established a couple of months back. Take two steps away from the bodega and you’ll miss it. A brief dhikr took place before iftaar. The congregants at the masjid were incredibly hospitable. Everyone I walked by asked if I had enough orange juice, tea or coffee. The majority of the people were from West Africa and spoke both Walaf and Arabic. We

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Revisited: Imam Al-Khoei Islamic Center

This entry was written by Fatima Ashraf. A community activist who wants to “make it plain,” as brother Malcolm taught us. Why can’t we all just get along? Wait, maybe we can… B and A asked me to join them at Al-Khoei Mosque in Jamaica, Queens on Wednesday. I for one, was elated to go – the last time I prayed in a Shi’a masjid was when I was in

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Day 20: Makki Masjid

A few blocks from the subway in Brooklyn, Bassam and I took a stroll down Coney Island Avenue and found a bustling street of Pakistani run businesses, including a hospital. Check out the banner on the hospital celebrating Pakistan’s Independence Day last month. Across the street from the hospital was our destination, the Makki Masjid. It’s a predominantly Pakistani mosque that is basically in its first phase of construction, as

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Day 19: Imam Al-Khoei Islamic Center

Today Aman and I went to the Imam Al-Khoei Islamic Center in Queens. It is one of the largest Shi’a mosques in NYC. The place hits close to home for me. My parents sent my brother and I to Al-Khoei for summer school when I was about seven years old. When my brother learned the adhaan, the call to prayer, from school and did it in front of our family,

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Day 18: MAS Youth Center

I was tired and slept my way to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Thankfully the train ride took 70 minutes so I was fresh by the time I got off the train. There was a certain calmness in the air, something you just don’t get in Manhattan. There are many mosques in Bay Ridge and it was tough to choose which one to visit. Somehow or another, we decided on the Muslim

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Day 17: Mount Hope Masjid

Today Bassam and I were joined by our good friend Omar Mullick as we went into the south Bronx to check out the Mount Hope Masjid. This is a congregation of primarily West Africans. One of the people that talked to us said most of the people are from s Togo and Ghana. He said the two countries’ cultures are similar, comparing them to the similarities between New York and

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Day 16: Jamaica Muslim Center, Inc

Note: Many comments from this posting have disappeared. We encourage those whose comments have disappeared to re-post their thoughts. Sorry for the inconvenience, Aman and I are looking into this issue. How do you get to Sesame Street? Follow a muppet. Jamaica Muslim Center? Follow the topis (hats) and hijabs on Hillside Ave. O, how Jamaica has changed! Back when we lived in Astoria, I remember coming here with my

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Day 14: Riverdale Islamic Center

Today, Aman and I went to the Riverdale Islamic Center in The Bronx. It’s interesting how no other borough in New York has a definitive THE in front of it. I have yet to hear anyone say the Queens or the Brooklyn. (Update: Turns out the Bronx comes from the landowner who acquired the borough back in 1639, Jonas Broncks. – Here’s a snippet from an article: “A river ran

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Day 15: Noor Al-Islam Center

Our first trip on our journey to Staten Island, way overdue. No Bassam today, but instead I took my little brother Zeshawn and my cousin Salman to the Noor Al-Islam Center on Richmond Terrace. This is a World War II bomb factory they converted into a mosque. But before I get to that, we first took a chillaxing 25-minute ferry ride to Staten Island. Bye bye Manhattan and Statue of

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Day 13: Masjid Dawood, another take

This entry was written by Fatima Ashraf. A community activist who wants to “make it plain,” as brother Malcolm taught us. Masjid Dawood, better known as the Yemeni Mosque on State St, is a sad story in my opinion. But let me start with the good, since it is Ramadan. The sister’s section is on the second floor. The carpet in this masjid always reminded me of the Dome of

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Day 13: Dawood Mosque

Today I was was Bassam-less and continued my journey into Brooklyn to one of my favorite places to pray at, the Dawood Mosque. This is a predominantly Arab mosque with a fair amount of South Asians and African Americans as well. I got there about 10 minutes before prayer and was confused why it seemed like I was one of the only one there. But then I heard people chatting

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Day 12: Masjid Tawhid Inc.

In Brooklyn, go east on Ralph Ave and you’ll see two mosques. The Bangladeshi masjid. And then, two blocks later, the West African one. My good friend Ibrahim AbdulMatin pressed me hard this afternoon to go to the West African masjid. To be honest, it was difficult passing up the South Asian mosque. I was Aman-less today and wasn’t ready to be out of my element. But I had to

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Day 11: Masjid Al-Hikmah

Bassam and I headed back to Queens to check out Masjid Al-Hikmah. The building is extremely difficult to miss in the homey residential neighborhood on 31st Street This place has a predominantly Indonesian congregation. Given the fact that Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the entire world, the breathtaking size of the mosque seems fitting. Apparently last week the mosque had this awesome food festival that I wish I

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Day 10: Masjid Al-Farooq

Brooklyn: New York’s cultural hotspot and the place that rappers have to give shoutouts to 31 times in every hip hop record. Step outside the subway station at Atlantic Avenue and immediately you get hit with crazy amounts of gentrification, including this huge shopping center. Lucky for me, the place I need to go to is Masjid Al-Farooq. It’s about a block away from the subway and it’s a four

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