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Rasta Gnawi
boston, ma Massachusetts USA
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07:56:06 AM Thursday Nov 10, 2005

I finally found that illusive mosq on rindge ave. It took me several weeks of combing through the projects here in Cambridge before I found it. Tired of walking in the projects at night, I took off last saturday morning around 11. Every building looked the same in the neighborhood and the directions on line don't give a building number. So there I was looking for any hints of a mosq, when I saw this old dude with a white beard wearing a long white rob (3baya.) That had to be it. I didn't want to follow him and scare him. So I run towards him and ask where the mosq was. He was a little frightened that I was running towards him. When I asked about the mosq, his features became more relaxed and he asked me where I was from. I said Morocco. He meant more what neighbourhood I was from, so I mentioned I was only three blocks away on rindge and mass ave. He smiled and said al-hamdu lillah.

It's a little building. IT seems as thguh it was a house at some point. The first floor is where they put the prayer room. Not sure what's on the second, but I imagine it must the residence of the owner. Anyway, it's a really nice place to pray. Very quiet. Not so many people, although the place can comfortable serve more than 80 people. The imam read the quran well. The only is that Friday prayers are most in urdu, which suits me well, since I have very seldom heard a khutba in Arabic or english worth listening to.

So happy now. I have the mosq only 5 minutes from my house. Since I've found it, I've been able to make at least 1 prayer a day at the mosq, 4 on weekends. Not bad.

NB. mosq here looks nothing like the picture :)

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11:40 am    November 12, 2005

hudhud message
there's a bit of legend to the word. it kind of connotes the history of the Californian gold rush era, when a prospector would hit on a pile of gold or silver and holler "[answers eureka]!" like "I found it!" :)
there's actually a small town by this name, Eureka, California. it's near the area of the Redwood Forests, close to the state border with Oregon, and these forests are incredible. put on your top 10 places to see :)

9:42 pm    November 11, 2005

Adnane Ben. message
Also... I thought it was dictionnally Eureka.. and not Eurika

1:11 pm    November 11, 2005

Adnane Ben. message
I think there is a good Pakistani community (also Somali I think) where you live, near the red line. That's where Ali's uncle bought a house. He said it was a very good deal, they're building new ones there.

1:07 pm    November 11, 2005

hudhud message
you remind me when i was in college, i was always disappointed with the khutbas at my school. they were just lame, sorry to say. of all the ones i attended, there was just one that i really remember, learned from, and actually enjoyed. only problem was the speaker took more than an hour and 15 minutes and i ended up being late to my on-campus job. and i hate being late. but i couldn't walk out and i still remember it.
tell us how the harvard one goes next. allah yeqbel :)

12:50 pm    November 11, 2005

Rasta Gnawi message
so I made the friday prayer at Rindge today. I decided to work from home in the afternoon; some projects seem to drag longer when done in the office.

Anyway. I understood very little of the khutba. I mean it was all urdu. I was actually happy with it. Every now and then I catch a word that I know like "sayidna mohammed" and iman etc. I think I got the jist if it. Something to do with soul and shaytan; jannah and nar; iman and kufr. I think I could fill in the gaps easily. The khatib did make an effort to make a special khutba in arabic. Very short, I'm talking 4 sentences at the most. But short and sweet. Just a wonderful experience today at the friday prayer.

It reminded of college. Our islamic society members and officers were mostly arabs; I was the treasurer, perhaps why today's experience was even more impactful. Our school was very diverse an we had a lot of people from south east asia, who clearly wanted to attend a friday prayer that they could understand. The problem was that we could not find people who could give the khutba in English as well. It was a real struggle, and at times one of us would have to stand up after each khutbah and spend a minutes or 2 translating what the khatib was saying. Good effort, but in all honesty the khatibs sometimes had nothing to say that would have been translatable in a constructive light. Eventually many started having their own little friday prayers; the malay one, the pakistani one, the somali one, etc. Some people started complaining that the others were creating division and that we needed to unite etc. etc. Things became even bigger and some trust in teh society was lost.

Today I was on the other side. I understood nothing. I made up my own khutba in my head. I lectured myself exactly how I think people should be lectured: stern, direct, compassionate. Next week I will try the harvard one. I am told the imam is this american dude who studied in egypt or something like that. Funny that after so many years, only now am I being particular about where I listen to the khutba.


8:37 am    November 10, 2005

hudhud message
when i was a kid we lived on the same block as a really small place rented to use as a mosque.. was so nice to just walk down the street and pray there whenever we wanted and there was a real sense of community.. the memories that place built up in my heart, my god. it's so sad to drive by now and see that it's not a mosque anymore, no one prays in that house anymore.. it served its time, alhamdulillah 3ala kouli haal..

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