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Community News (V15-I35)

Islamic Center of Long Island breaks ground on expansion

LONG ISLAND,NY–The much awaited expansion of Islamic Center of Long Island has finally broken ground. The Long Island Press reports that this oldest mosque on the island will undergo a $4 million expansion.

“We’ve been waiting for this day for a long time,” ICLI chairman, Habeeb Ahmed, told the congregation Friday in front of a recently completed $1 million parking lot that has helped ease congestion in the neighborhood.

Joining the mosque’s board for the groundbreaking ceremony were dozens of worshipers, religious leaders from other faiths and about a half-dozen local officials who have assisted in the expansion project by educating the surrounding community, including the village’s mayor, Peter Cavallaro, who was praised for his efforts during the process.

The plan calls for more classrooms to support the growing number of Muslim families moving into the community, a recreation area, an interfaith center and a space for seniors—or “medicare beneficiaries,” one mosque trustee said.

Mosque plans delayed

ST.CLOUD,MN–St. Cloud’s Planning Commission has delayed a decision on the local Islamic Center’s proposal to build a new mosque and related buildings amid opposition from some neighbors.

The Islamic Center of St. Cloud wants to build in a mostly residential area. Minnesota Public Radio News reports that requires a decision by the city on whether to change zoning in the area in question.
Nearby residents say their concerns are about traffic congestion in the area, not religion. The center’s president says he’s willing to scale back some of the plans for the site to compromise with neighbors.

Several students honored at NJ Young Scholars Program

On Aug. 3, 107 students in New Jersey SEEDS’ Scholars and Young Scholars Programs completed their 14-month experiences with the organization and celebrated their graduations.
New Jersey SEEDS is an educational nonprofit that transforms the lives of motivated, high-achieving students from low-income families. The Scholars Program is a tuition-free academic program designed to prepare eighth-grade students in New Jersey for placement in academically rigorous selective schools with substantial financial aid packages. The Young Scholars Program works with children in fifth and sixth grades in Greater Newark. Students enrolled in the tuition-free program engage in academic classes before being placed in day or junior boarding schools with significant financial aid directly from the independent schools.

At the ceremony, several students were honored for academic and leadership accomplishments:

Abdul-Nafea Syed was named the Dwight L. Wilson Scholar for his sense of personal ethics, honesty, integrity, love of education and willingness to work hard while enrolled in the New Jersey SEEDS Scholars Program.

— Amera Youssef was presented with the Dean’s Award for her overall achievement, strong leadership, citizenship, exceptional academic qualities and great personality while enrolled in the Scholars Program.

— Nada Zohayr was named the Amy Ziebarth Scholar for her passion for social justice and strong commitment to SEEDS while enrolled in the Scholars Program.

Bernards library ‘Muslim Journeys’ grant

BERNARDS TWP., NJ– The Bernards township library received a $3,500 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Library Association (ALA) to host a five-part reading and discussion series titled “Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys.’’

The library is one of 125 libraries and state humanities councils across the country selected to participate in the project, which seeks to familiarize residents in the United States with the people, places, history, faith and cultures of Muslims in the U.S. and around the world.

“Bernards Township is a community of well-educated, cultured and motivated citizens,’’ said Library Board President Tim Opremcak. “It is a testament to them and the quality of our library that we were the only public library in New Jersey, along with three academic institutions, selected for this honor.”

All programs will be held at the township library at 32 S. Maple Ave. in Basking Ridge.

The Muslim Journeys theme that the library has chosen to explore is “Points of View.” Through the titles selected, readers will encounter individual experiences in Muslim majority societies through memoirs and novels representing a diverse geography and some of the best contemporary storytellers.

“We are delighted to have been chosen to host this unique series that will allow patrons a chance to discuss some important themes in Muslim history and literature with the help of a well-qualified scholar,” said Library Director Ruth Lufkin.


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