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Local mosque expands

The Islamic Center of the Capital District will soon open a community center in addition to a mosque that has been around since 1979

A brand new community center will be formally unveiled by the Islamic Center of the Capital District on Saturday, Sept. 25, providing a much-needed daycare center for those who attend prayer, a banquet room and recreational facilities.

After years of only using the mosque, which is located on 21 Lansing Road in Schenectady, Tariq Niazi, president of the center, said the area was too small for the much larger prayers, prompting the need to expand.

To accommodate the number of people who come to the center during Ramadan, which lasted this year from Aug. 11 until Sept. 10, Niazi said the community center was made available the last two weeks of Ramadan. Niazi said organizers had hoped to make the new facility available at the beginning of the holy month, but they were met with some delays.

This place [the mosque] becomes small for bigger prayers, he said. "During the month of Ramadan we get a lot of people for the night prayer."

He said the influx of worshippers at the mosque on Friday afternoons " especially the Friday that marked the end of Ramadan " is comparable to a typical Sunday at a church, and the banquet room was opened to provide a place of prayer for those who could not fit in the mosque.

Niazi, who has been with the community for the past 20 years and president for the past seven, referred to the community center as the next step for the organization. He said it will better serve members looking for a place for recreation, social events such as banquets or weddings, and a daycare center for parents to drop off their children so they can pray.

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