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Houstonian Corner (V10-I21)

Maryum Masjid Had Its First Major Event, Attended by Hall-of-Famer Hakeem Olajuwan

A fast-developing suburb towards the Southwest of Houston is known as New Territory, which is expected to be part of proper City of Sugar Land by Year 2016. Over the years the Muslim and Pakistani community has grown in this area. Most of them are professionals, like doctors, engineers, accountants, etc.

A few years ago, some members of the community got together to decide to make a masjid with a community center and weekend school. Hall-of-Famer Hakeem Olaguwan of the Houston Rockets attended that meeting and pledged that he would support the project and would come to their first major event.

A few months after that, the community started off by buying appropriate land and making Maryum Masjid under the auspices of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH).

At present, the mosque has two temporary sections; one for ladies and the other for men. Later on, a proper parking lot and grassy field was prepared around the mosque. This Maryum Masjid Community is fast growing and the youth here are very active. They have regular Saturday and Sunday classes and youth activities every evening. Ladies have their weekly learning program starting two hours before dhohr, every Thursday.

This past Saturday saw more than 1,000 people (Muslims and non-Muslims) coming to the First International Carnival at Masjid Maryum. Fulfilling his pledge, Hakeem Olaguwan made a special trip at the time of dhohr prayers, and gave away autographs to those at the mosque, signing basketballs and diaries. He said he was encouraged to see non-Muslim neighbors of the mosque as well as large numbers of youg people organizing and participating in the activities, which he said showed a bright future for the mosque. He said the mosque provides a peaceful and appropriate atmosphere for healthy next generation (both spiritually and professionally). He encouraged that more such heart-warming events should happen.

Food from several cultures was available, including Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi, Middle Eastern, Mexican. Free candies from Imran Lalpuria, and ice-cream from Brother Furqan made the occasion more fun for the hundreds of children and adolescents. Train and water rides meant a real treat. Another interesting part was the Taekwondo and Self-Defense Training.

One can visit and contact this vibrant community of Maryum Masjid at: 600 Sartartia Road, Sugar Land, Texas 77479, Brother Zafar: 832.605.4446.

Funds Raised By Ismaeli Community For S. B. Gaddi For City Of Sugar Land

A vibrant Ismaeli community of the Greater Houston region raised funds for S.B. Gaddi at a local Chinese Restaurant. S.B. Gaddi is vying for at-large position 2 in the City Council of Sugar Land. Early elections are between April 28 and May 06, while actual voting day is Saturday, May 10, 2008. Dignitaries of the Ismaeli community, like Nasruddin Rupani, Javed Khoja, Feroze & Bahadur Rupani, Mohammad Verani, Dr. Dilawar Aijani, Dr. Aijaz Khowaja and others attended the meeting. Local spiritual leader Dr. Amir Papotia also attended the meeting for a short while.

Members of the Ismaeli Community said that they would be closely watching S.B. Gaddi’s performance at city hall, since whatever manner in which he would perform would be reflective of the community, which is already under a microscope.

Mr. Gaddi informed in detail all the issues facing Sugar Land, like Taxes, Transportation, Drainage, Surface Water Quality and Pricing, etc. He said he has command of these issues and then explained all the solutions he wants to bring to the city hall. He said the community would be proud of his efforts, since he is going in having done all his preparations, or “homework.” He knows his win depends on the vote count, therefore he has spent hours knocking at more than 3,000 doors; he needed the community’s support in bringing out people during early voting and on election day. He said his win would mean opening of many doors for our next generation and that would mean strengthening of City of Sugar Land with the inclusion of diversity. He informed that he has already talked with the police chief, who is willing to hire one or two police officers from our community, so as to make his law enforcement force more effectual.

The community gave him funds and promised more monetary, volunteer and other help. For more information on his campaign, visit: http://www.gaddiforsugarland.com/


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