Central Mosque Will Be Inside Faculty of Islamic Studies Building

As Education City (EC) continues, as it has for the past several years, to grow and cover more ground, it has been noted that a central mosque for the complex does not exist.



Instead one finds prayer rooms inside the individual campus buildings.  While some, such as in the Student Center, are quite large, others, such as in the Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q) building, can hardly hold more than 30 people.  Zaid Haque, a student who studied at CMU’s main campus said, “I feel very strange that there is less of an Islamic environment here in EC than there was in Pittsburgh.”



An improvised poll done earlier this month on the My Education City Facebook page attested to the fact that the absence of a mosque is an important issue for EC students.  The short comment, “There isn't a proper Masjid in here [Education City] yet,” made by a Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ) student received the most likes on the page.  It also proves that most students don’t know that a central mosque is in the works.



Capital Projects, a division of Qatar Foundation and holder of the master construction plan for EC, said that there has always been a space allotted towards the construction of a central mosque.  



Ameena Ahmadi, Head of Architects at Capital Projects, said, “The master plan has always included a large mosque that will service all of the Education City community.  The design process has taken a bit longer than what was planned…as we wanted to make sure it [had] a state of the art [design].” 



She also said construction was to begin on the mosque in the “next few months” and will be completed along with Northwestern University in Qatar and the Central Library buildings in 2013.  The mosque will be housed in the permanent home of the Faculty of Islamic Studies, currently housed in The Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) building.



While it may be a central location when the buildings around it are completed, it is not a central location for most students in EC.  Students, regularly complaining about how isolated Georgetown University in Qatar‘s new building is, do not feel the new building, located nearer to Tilted Roundabout, will not be centrally located. 



“I think having the mosque near Georgetown is a bad idea,” said Ahmed Hassaan, a student at TAMUQ.  “As the majority of the students in EC are in A&M and Carnegie, and nearly every student visits the student centre,” therefore “a transportation system should be provided for all students so it can be easier for students to reach the mosque easier.”



But still missing from the master plan is a central mosque.  The general demand of students is to have a standalone mosque, not a mosque within a larger building, as been the case with most buildings in EC.  And there does not appear to be a change in that precedent with the new mosque that is being built, as it will be located in another building too. 



One modern university campus that has successfully incorporated mosques into its layout and could serve as model for EC is King Adbullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).  The campus there has three large, standalone mosques situated that less than 10 minutes walk from any part of the campus.  The mosques also make the call to prayer five times a day and one has an imam to head the Friday sermon.     



While EC will have its central mosque, its placement within the Faculty of Islamic Studies has not completely fulfilled the demands of students here.

by Saif-U-Din Alnuweiri  Apr 4th, 2011
Post your Comment
Zaid , 10:00pm on Apr 5th, 2011
I don't think it can be called a "mosque" if it's *inside* another building...
Saying that it is located next to the Faculty of Islamic Studies would be fine, but I as an EC student do not like the idea of it being within FIS.
Abdalla Abdalla, Myeducationcity , 10:23am on Apr 5th, 2011
Thank you all for the comments. We really appreciate them. However, we would love to make it clear that we will not be accepting any comments if the person does not write his/her real name. We need to keep the website professional.
Please make sure to read Ameena Ahmadi,s comment on her explaination of the location of the mosque and let us know what you think.
Anam , 9:36pm on Apr 4th, 2011
I agree with Abdullah. A big, simple square building would do just fine!
Anam , 9:35pm on Apr 4th, 2011
I agree with Abdullah. It certainly does not need to act like a state-of-the-art attraction and it should definitely not be associated with an EC branch campus.
Please give us a big, simple, square building with a permanent imam and loudspeakers for all 5 calls to prayer. Is it too much to ask?
Most of the commenters/readers of this blog won\\\'t even be around by the time this \\\"central mosque\\\" will be built!
Ameena Ahmadi , 8:55pm on Apr 4th, 2011
Speaking for Capital Project Directorate, I would like to clarify a couple of things regarding the above article and comments.

Mosque structure: the article above has misused a preposition; the mosque will not be “in” the Faculty of Islamic Studies but combined with it in one structure. The inspiration behind this direction is traditional madrasas found in historic Muslim cities where a school and a mosque are combined in one structure, such as Sultan Hassan Madrasah in Cairo. Nevertheless, it will be a modern facility with state of the art finishes and service spaces such as washrooms and ablution units, designed to offer maximum comfort for the users. The mosque would still act as an independent entity with independent access points for anyone from the Education City community to access at anytime. It is a large facility that will fit about 3000 worshippers between an internal prayer hall, a second internal hall dedicated for women, as well as an outdoor court. The mosque will have support spaces such as a small library and a room / office for the Imam, who would lead the 5 prayers every day.

Location: what students perceive of as central within Education City campus today will change in the next few years. Students’ perception of the campus is limited to the buildings they see at the moment; however, the campus will grow to accommodate many more academic facilities, research facilities, more residence halls, green parks and other venues. Georgetown University may seem isolated at the moment; however, in less than 3 years, it will be the neighbor of other important facilities such as Northwestern University, the Faculty of Islamic Studies & Education City Mosque, the Oxygen Park as well as the Central Library. The location of the mosque has been carefully chosen so it possesses a special spot within the overall masterplan of the campus. In addition, within the next few years, there will be an extremely efficient people mover system that will help all users move easily and comfortably across campus. Stations will be strategically located to service all buildings.

I appreciate the students’ comments and feedback and we would love for this dialogue to continue. At CPD, we understand that the campus environment is not ideal at the moment, but it will be in a few years time. My hope is that the students would trust that there is a large multidisciplinary dedicated team working diligently on the planning, management, design and construction of this unique campus to create an environment we would all be proud of and enjoy using.
Yazan , 8:49pm on Apr 4th, 2011
I think the suggested location is terribly frankly. I barely walk to my own college unless when I\\\'m late to a meeting, and this is a 5 minute walk. A mosque this far will only welcome students who drive, and this defeats the whole purpose because they can simply drive off to any other mosque. We need a mosque that is a walking distance from the campuses and the dorms - you know, a CENTRAL mosque
Rahima S , 8:11pm on Apr 4th, 2011
I don\\\'t understand why it is so important to have a state of the art mosque versus...making sure a mosque is built ASAP especially when it is an immediate need.
Aminah Kandar , 8:05pm on Apr 4th, 2011
I tend to feel the same way (and intend to post on the blog ;-P). It would be very nice to hear the athan as the whole purpose is to remind one of prayer. Without it, people tend to forget. I especially feel for the students who live in residence. Coming from Canada, I too often sense a difference in the environments and often feel I\\\'m lacking a spiritual outlet, if you will. A central stand-alone traditional mosque will give the students -many of whom live far from their loved ones- a greater sense of community and a spiritual escape for when they need it. In the University of Ottawa in Canada, the Muslim Student Association was given a whole house in one of the most expensive areas in the region as a mosque. A stand-alone one too. And that\\\'s Canada! :-)
Mohamed Ajmal , 7:48pm on Apr 4th, 2011
Assalam alaikom,

Yes, like said above this does not still make sense, as a \\\"central mosque\\\" cannot be placed within another structure, and secondly, a structure located at the Slope roundabout, cannot be called very \\\"central\\\". But as long as this project is happening, I\\\'m all for it as the Muslim community in Education City I feel has suffered enough without a proper mosque to pray prayers in.
Nadia , 7:34pm on Apr 4th, 2011
I believe the mosque should be central and a stand alone structure. If it is within the grounds of another campus, students will not have the same community feeling to it.
Muhammad Abdullah Ahmed , 7:30pm on Apr 4th, 2011
i would prefer a large stand alone mosque rather than a mosque inside a building. and the masjid should have an Imam who leads all the 5 daily prayers regularly rather than students having their own prayers whenever they come.
Abdullah F. , 7:26pm on Apr 4th, 2011
I\\\'m not sure I get how a \\\"central mosque\\\" can be located inside a university???

I mean isn\\\'t that the definition of a PRAYER ROOM, which I\\\'m sure we don\\\'t have a shortage of?

Isn\\\'t Qatar a Muslim country so why is it so hard to have a simple mosque (no QF you don\\\'t need to spend 10 more years planning it..its purpose is prayer not a tourist attraction site!)

Wouldn\\\'t it make \\\"MORE SENSE\\\" if it were say maybe near the residence halls?
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