30 MORE | Day 1 – “Good Robot makes Bad Neighbour” – Centre for Islamic Development – CID – 2728 Robie Street – Halifax, Nova Scotia

Good Robot Makes Bad Neighbour

The Good Robot brewing company and bar is next door to the Centre for Islamic Development in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

This was my stop on Day 2 of 30 Masjids in 30 Days of Ramadan Canada,

During Ramadan 2016.

I remember hearing the loud noise from the bar next door.

Everyone could hear loud muffled music,

While we were praying Isha and Salat al Taraweeh,

Or just sitting inside CID Masjid.

On the first day of Ramadan 2021,

Good Robot Instagrammed a long caption explaining how they had been a bad neighbour.

They owned their mistakes and wanted to do better.

In their words…

“We had a DJ on the roof, fog machine, glitter bombs…

The works.

It was cathartic.

It was loud.

Unfortunately this party occurred smack dab in the middle of Ramadan;

a very holy and sacred time for Muslims.

This was the last straw for them and it would soon become a huge wake-up call for us.

The result of our subsequent conversations with the CID were some major operational changes that we implemented to ensure a more peaceful coexistence.

For example,

we now take note of all daily prayer times when we open up in the morning.

During those prayer times we regulate the sound outside.

We have initiated hourly cigarette butt sweeps in front of the bar and the Islamic Centre.

Outdoor events like RobieScope now tend to be silent events using Silent Disco headphones that we rent from the amazing Evolution Sounds Entertainment.

We have also removed some of our rowdier activities such as “Cornhole”.

It has taken some deep introspection and a lot of difficult conversations with the CID to regain their trust.

They now occasionally invite us over for dinner.

In that difficult time in our history we humbly learned what it means to be a part of a community.

Neighbourhoods come with responsibility.

All of this said,

as we return to Ramadan season again today,

we would like to send good wishes to our Muslim friends and neighbours.”

Good Robot Bar staff jot down the daily prayer times at Centre for Islamic Development next door as a reminder to turn down the music volume – Halifax, Nova Scotia. – Photo credit : Elizabeth Chiu / CBC

Five Ramadans have passed since first hearing Good Robot’s bad sounds,

with my own ears while inside CID,

in what may still be Canada’s Greenest Masjid.

It took Good Robot five Ramadans to become a better neighbour.

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