Worcester - MA:
In 1979 members of the then small Muslim Community, bought the abandoned church on 57 Laurel St. in Worcester, and re-established the house of worship in the form of Masjid-AlKaram, now the Islamic Center of Greater Worcester (ISGW) - A full Muslim gathering comprised of less than 50 people. At the passage of time, the Muslim community grew as well.
By the year 2001, it was obvious that the community will soon outgrow the Center. Hence, envisaged by Dr. Ziad Ramadan and Mairaj Ahmad a vision of a larger Mosque was presented to the Community, which was adopted and in the summer of 2002 the actual groundbreaking ceremony of the Mosque - now called the Worcester Islamic Center (WIC) - started on 248 East Mountain St. in Worcester.
Dr. Ziad Ramadan supervised the construction since day one. Under Dr. Ziads' supervision, and Tahir Ali's assistance, the members of the Community broke ground, worked on the site, laid the iron mesh on the ground, poured the footing, built the wooden frame for the 20 foot foundation wall, poured cement for the entire foundation perimeter. The Cement had to be mixed with a heavy duty vibrator, where some of us would be on the top of the 20 foot wall and although we took turns in mixing the cement, some had mastered the technique. The Community came from far and near. The youth and women participated equally.
We worked from dawn to dusk and even continued to work in the dark using our car headlights to provide light. In the many pillars that were erected, the names of all the members of the community that helped in this project were etched in Cement. The front pillars were dedicated to each: Dr. Ziad Ramadan, Mairaj Ahmed, Tahir Ali, Dr. Mohammed Mushtaque, Hassan, Muzzamul Saeed, and Ali. As a result of the Muslim Community's help, over $250,00.00 cost of labor was saved. Kudos to all that participated in whichever form they could - showing a strong resolve, a sense of unity, and solidarity. We all can proudly take cognizant of the fact that the Islamic Center is one of the biggest in the New England Area, It includes an Islamic School - and the building can accommodate more than 5000 people. Last year alone more than 5000 people prayed on EID day at WIC. Similarly, on the same day, more than 1000 people attended the ISGW center on 57 Laurel St.
Yes, we have grown!