Concerns over the absence of a mosque inside EC rise


Photo by Shakeeb Asrar

Taimur Rizwan, a student living in Education City bathed and put on his shalwar kameez, the traditional Pakistani dress, and walked to join approximately twenty other Education City students, equally dressed up and waiting for buses to take them to Fanar, Qatar’s main Islamic center, for the Friday communal prayer. Since Education City doesn’t have a mosque now, buses take students to this center every Friday.

But, Taimur and other students kept waiting for a bus that never came. Eventually, they returned to their dorms to pray individually, upset over missing the obligatory Friday congregational prayer.

“There are always two buses for Friday prayers, one leaves at 11:15 am and another at 11:30 am, but last Friday the second bus didn’t come,” Taimur said, adding that even the calls made by the Community Development Advisors to Qatar Foundation Transport didn’t help.

As students wait for EC’s central mosque, which is being built inside the Faculty of Islamic Studies building, their concerns about a lack of a mosque on campus are growing.

Those who miss the bus have no other way to make it to the mosque later for Friday prayers.

“Even if the buses are on time, the full round trip from [the] dorms to the Fanar mosque and back takes a lot of time”, said Fazail Ahmed, a freshman at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. “That discourages students from going to Friday prayers [when they have] busy schedules.”

“I don’t see why a mosque wasn’t one of the first buildings they constructed inside Education City”, added Fazail. “It’s surprising that Education City has existed for more than a decade and still doesn’t house a mosque.”

Female students have also complained about the small sizes of many of prayer rooms on campus, which are often full at peak times of Dhuhr (noon) and Asr (evening) prayers, particularly those at VCUQ and CMUQ.

Even after the mosque at the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies is completed, students expressed that they worry it will be too far for them to easily access five times a day.


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