Houstonian Corner (V10-I17)

Youth-oriented Approach in the Development of the Katy Center

“About 80% of the Americans feel that USA is going in the wrong directions”: These were the words of long-time Civil Rights Activist Imam Mahdi Bray, as he made his keynote presentation at fundraiser for Muslim American Society (MAS) Katy Center.

“Muslims have faith in God and a bright future because the true Muslims back their faith with action, which is beneficial to the human beings. Being right is not always easy, but eventually is the way to go, as can be seen from the example of Prophet Yousuf, who got into jail, then exonerated and from a slave became the king of the land. Today we see our government spend $3bn everyday bombing Iraq, while we recently learnt that a 9 years old child living near the White House in DC. died because his parents could not afford a $75 dental procedure and by the time he reached the hospital, it was too late. Now here in Katy Texas, the Muslim American Society (MAS) is building an institution to bring forward youth, who will be headlights rather than taillights and will be thermostats rather than thermometers. Institutions like this, which are being established for youth and where faith and positive action for the betterment of the society at-large will be taught, bring the necessary hope in all of us that Muslims will bring the answers to the problems of the world: In fact Muslims already have the answers: Institutions like this upcoming MAS Katy Center will facilitate this process.”

Before the ever moving speech of Imam Mahdi, all the attendees enjoyed a sumptuous five course dinner, which was followed by recitation of Quran by young Sarah Nasir Ali. That was followed by an excellent presentation by Dr. Main AL-Qudah of Islamic Dawah Center Downtown about the importance of sacrificing talents and monies for the sake of betterment of future generations.

Later Omar Mabsout, the founder and manager of Archi-Group Design & Development Consultants (www.archi-group.com), gave the blue-print of the project in the form of animation and simulation. He gave the vision of the institution to be of building a model Muslim community that is fully developed, committed to Islam, united and engaged in shaping a better society and healthier world.

Omar Mabsout informed that the project will be completed in Four Phases: First Phase will include growing trees around the property to appropriately demarcate it and then laying down all the infrastructure amenities like drinking water s sewerage and drainage systems (which will include a beautiful detention pound right at the entrance, which will enhance the looks of the place). Also during this phase, some basic attractions for youth like soccer field, tennis and basketball courts plus parking spots will be constructed. Cost of this Phase One is $600,000 off which about 30% were pledged or collected during the fundraiser. Omar Mabsout of the Archi-Group himself pledged $20,000.

Second Phase will include constructing Masjid for 600 persons and a covered Youth Center with basketball court, gym and other related things like showers, restrooms, lockers, etc. This Phase Two will cost $2.7M. Third Phase will include constructing a Community Center, enclosing daycare, classrooms for learning and teaching the youth, multi-purpose hall, administrative offices, library and much more. Cost for this Third Phase is $2.5M. Beyond this Phase Three, the area will have enough space for future development projects like home for elderly, shelter for abused, etc. (this development will decided by next generations).

In the end, famous fundraising personality Sheikh Abdel Raouf in his unique style raised the funds. The best part of his efforts has always been the way he asks donating persons’ name, then pray for the person based on the meaning of his or her name and then generally pray for everyone.

People can reach out to MAS Katy Center with their contributions at: P.O. Box 6242, Katy, Texas 77491, Phone: 281-829-0600.


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