Islamic Center of Boston Reopens
By Parwez Wahid



Speakers at the Opening Day Ceremony of the new building of the Islamic Center of Boston

Wayland, Massachusetts: The Islamic Center of Boston re-opened its campus in Wayland, Massachusetts following completion of an 18-month reconstruction project that had started in May of 2004. (Reports in Pakistan Link of February and May 2004 described the Center’s approval of the construction plans and groundbreaking to commence the reconstruction.)
The $3 million reconstruction project has increased the square footage of the Center to over 1,9000 square feet. The prayer hall has been expanded; a new wing with second floor provides more classrooms and a gathering hall. The remodeled kitchen, expanded bathrooms and cloakroom provide better amenities for members and patrons of the Center.
The Center actually became operational on Friday October 28th, the last Friday of Ramadan. Eid prayers were held on November 3rd. The grand-opening ceremony was planned for November 27th after the Center’s governing body had fully participated in the Eid-related activities.
The ICB held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on November 20th to mark the opening of the Sunday School that had been operating from an area public school during the reconstruction period. The November 27th Grand Opening ceremony was conducted to showcase the new Center to the greater Boston community and acknowledge the efforts of those members who had carried the project to its completion.


Members of the community who were present at the Opening Ceremony of the new building of the Islamic Center of Boston

Layla Hariri, a Director of the Center, conducted the MC duties and introduced Karim Reda and Farah Hasan to open the program with a recitation from the Holy Quran followed by translation. Several presentations were then given.
Dr. Ghiath Reda, a former President and past Religous Director of the Center, gave a historic background of the ICB. He recalled the early days in the late 1970s and early 1980s when the Center operated from a rented location in Cambridge before moving to Wayland in the late 1980s. Dr. Reda acknowledged two key persons: Dr. Mudassir Siddiqi and Barry Hoffman, the Honorary Pakistani Consul General, whose contributions paved the way for the eventual permanent establishment of the ICB.
Imran Qidwai of the Building Committee gave a report on the Committee's background since 2001 and some of the obstacles that it had to overcome in order to complete the project. Others who addressed the gathering were: Dr. Asaf Razvi, Director of Religion of the ICB; Pastor Fred Moser of the Episcopal Church; Father Frank Silva, co-chair of the Wayland Clergy Association and State Representative Michael Festa of the Massachusetts State House.
The final address was made by the Center's President, Dr. Malik Khan. Dr. Khan read a long list of names of people who had made various contributions to the Center over its many years. This included former Presidents, and former School Principals of the Center. He also named dedicated members who had put in countless hours in many different areas to make the Center functional.
Dr. Khan also praised the local authorities; the Wayland Police and Wayland Town government members, who were helpful and cooperative in the execution of the project. Dr. Khan mentioned how in some instances the Town government had taken extra measures to ensure the completion of the project. He also acknowledged a neighbor who attended a Wayland Town hearing to speak in favor of the masjid's reconstruction effort. Malik Khan ended his presentation with a prayer for the Center and for all its patrons and guests.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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