Rochester Hills, MIâ€“For the first week of the Ramadan Series Project, we visited the Islamic Association of Greater Detroit (IAGD), located in Rochester Hills, MI.
While on the way to this mosque, we assumed it would be a smaller Muslim community, mainly because the Rochester Hills area is not known for having very many Muslims. But when we arrived to this center, we knew this assumption was wrong when we had trouble finding a space to park, even in the newer added lot.
Just from standing in the halls of the IAGD, I tried to get a feel for the community and their atmosphere. Within the first 15 minutes, hearing at least five different languages, I began to realize that this community, with all of their cultural and language differences, came together for prayer and to break fast together. Their commonality: religion. This was evident even in the dinner menu that consisted of tandoori chicken, fatoush, grape leaves, rice, pasta and much more.
When sitting to dinner, the first meal of the day, the energy was still there, not drawn from food, but from the excitement of the fellow dinner companions. Some tables had families dining together, while another looked like a table of high school girls sitting at the lunch table together exchanging photos and apps on their cell phones. One table however, was of all women who only make it to the mosque during Ramadan, and were dining together while catching up on family additions, work stories, and just life within the last year.
Ramadan tonight at the IAGD of Rochester Hills was more than just breaking their fast together, it was having a meal, and creating memories with friends that you would not have otherwise been able to dine with.
Stay tuned to The Muslim Observerâ€™s print and web edition, as well as the weekly webcast for the continuation of the Ramadan Series Project. Week twoâ€™s visit will be at the Islamic Center of Americaâ€™s Young Muslim Association, in Dearborn.