After years of planning and meetings with the county, ISG (Islamic Society of Germantown) held its Groundbreaking ceremony on July 27, 2013 at the site of their new masjid building on Blunt Road behind the Fox Chapel shopping center in Germantown.
Community members arrived at the building location at 11:30. The event was similar to an open house; anyone who was interested in the masjid’s progress could come to see what was happening at ISG. A question and answer session was also held to inform community members of the masjid’s development.
County negotiations and building permits were all overcome through good relations with the county and its’ elected officials, and ISG began to officially build their masjid on July 10, 2013. Imam Ammar Nagar described the day in one word: “unforgettable.”
Hwaida Hassanein gave the attendees a tour of the land and highlighted what the masjid would include. “The masjid will be three levels with a walk out basement and a play area reserved for the kids outside. The main level will be for the musallah, along with several offices. The upper level will be the women’s musallah and will also have classrooms that will be used for the preschool and afterschool program ISG plans to have for Muslim children. A reception hall is going to be in the lower level, which ISG will rent out for various events that will be under the regulations and guidance of Islam.”
A commercial kitchen that will be open to the public is one of the highlights of the building. “We will lease it to anyone interested. It will serve halal food and is for both Muslims and non Muslims because we need to bring in revenue for the masjid as well as connect us to the community,” explained Mimi Hassanein who handles the masjid’s public relations.
ISG is short $1 million, and had a set goal of $200,000 for the day. Iman Ammar Nagar hopes that “the building is under the roof with closed windows by November” so that no one is working outside in the winter. ISG’s great leadership and management have led the masjid to success. “If it weren’t for [them] we would not have been able to take off,” said Nagar. The community’s support of the masjid keeps ISG optimistic about their future.
Close to 400 people showed up at the fundraiser ISG held later the same day, and helped the masjid raise $150,000, coming extremely close to ISG’s goal. Members of the community can still donate to the project until its completion, which the masjid hopes is by next Ramadan.
ISG will hold another event similar to the groundbreaking on August 7, 2013. The event will be open to both members of the community and elected county officials.