Situated close to South Pointe and a short distance from the rest of Waverley West is the Winnipeg Grand Mosque.
The location was chosen for several reasons, explains Osaed Khan, Secretary of Manitoba Islamic Association (MIA): "MIA engaged a professional for researching and recommending the general area where the facility should be located. The researcher, after approaching the community at large, prepared an extensive paper for MIA.
The report recommended some of the major considerations for selecting the site for building a Mosque, a community centre and a school. It should be in the locality where most of the Muslim Community lives; it should be closer to the University; it should be easily and quickly accessible to the Airport; it should be easily and quickly accessible to Hwy 1; the land size should be at least 5 acres; and at that time most of the Muslim community was living in the south end of town.
Considering all the facts we started looking for a piece of land anywhere close to Waverly Street."
Khan notes that the sizeable Winnipeg Grand Mosque was built in 2007 at 2445 Waverley Street and is open every day for: "5 daily prayers from 7:00 am - 8:30 pm., the capacity for the hall for dinners holds 320, the prayer area (upstairs and downstairs) during busy times can hold over 500 people." Despite a lack of funding in the beginning, the community worked together to raise enough money for this project:
"One community member decided to start fundraising by visiting individual families and friends asking for donations for the project. With the generosity of our community and with one fundraising dinner we came up with enough funds to comfortably bid for the required land. When we bought the present land (9.9 acres), the MIA Board of Trustees had more than the required sum for paying off the vendor in full."
Khan identified that other daily and monthly events available to residents of the area include: "Kid’s Islamic classes, badminton, women’s volleyball, men’s volleyball, community meetings in board rooms, library hours, indoor soccer, basketball, and a fitness class.
There are weddings, community potlucks, lecture nights, and other events monthly. One of the biggest community events is the Eid Carnival/festival — last summer it concluded with fireworks. All events are open for anyone to attend but some require registration or ticket purchases."
If you would like more information about the Manitoba Islamic Association and about programming at the Winnipeg Grand Mosque check out a list of the events at www.miaonline.org.
Kristi Anaka is a community correspondent for Waverley West. You can contact her at email@example.com.