MCC Hopes Ramadan Closes Gap In Construction Funds

Community News

On August 11, 2012, the Muslim Community Center in Silver Spring, Md. plans to push its expansion plans to the next level at its special fundraising dinner.

The fundraiser will be held in MCC’s main hall, beginning at 6:45 p.m., and those interested can buy tickets online or at the door. Tickets cost $50 for those aged 12 and older, and babysitting is available upon request. Sh. Mohamed Abdullahi, the Imam of MCC, will both host and speak at the event.

All funds raised at the dinner will contribute to the center’s elaborate expansion efforts. The center is raising money to build a bigger prayer area for sisters, wudu facilities, accessible bathrooms (compliant with standards set by the Americans With Disabilities Act), and additional classrooms for Sunday school and Quran classes.

The evening will include a presentation by MCC officials about the current progress of the project. MCC’s goal for this expansion process is to raise a total of $1 million, of which $550,000 has already been procured, according to their website. Officials hope to raise $300,000 at the fundraising dinner.

Thanks to the Ramadan spirit, recent donations have been higher compared to other months, according to MCC officials. But the expansion project is elaborate, and current construction has halted as the center seeks more money.

MCC needs the expansion to accommodate their growing population. Often times, for big group prayers, the sisters have to pray outside. The elderly and handicapped have trouble using the bathroom upstairs, so the new bathrooms will be ADA compliant and built on the main floor.

“[Everyone should attend because] it is Ramadan and this is a noble cause,” said Akhtar Zubairi, chair of MCC’s fundraising committee. “The expansion is badly needed.”

The center desperately needs more classrooms; it has over 100 students in Quran class and 30-40 students on a waiting list. Board members also hope for a much needed conference room.

Last year, MCC completed construction of a storage facility and a gazebo. Current construction, unrelated to the masjid expansion project, includes expanding their onsite medical clinic, which should be completed before November.

Following the masjid expansion, MCC’s next project is going to be building a multipurpose facility that will include a gymnasium where the youth can play. The facility will also include offices for administrators, and possibly even more classrooms.

So far, all aspects of MCC’s construction projects are on schedule, and all documents and building permits have been submitted. Ishtiaq Chughtai, chair of MCC’s building & facilities committee, expects to receive the permits within four weeks, and then search for a building contractor. The 2012 Eid-al-Fitr prayer, the day after Ramadan, will go on as usual. If all goes smoothly, the expansion will be complete before March 2013.

Throughout this expansion campaign, MCC has worked diligently to raise funds. For example, MCC once auctioned art created by local Muslim youth as part of a fundraiser. The center also raised $60,000 during a small fundraiser on April 21. MCC officials are pulling out all stops for their necessary upgrades.

“We are just trying to take care of our community,” Chughtai said.

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