30Mosques.com | Day 21: Harlem Islamic Cultural Center

By Aman and Bassam

Today we visited this new masjid that was established a couple of months back. Take two steps away from the bodega and you’ll miss it.


A brief dhikr took place before iftaar. The congregants at the masjid were incredibly hospitable. Everyone I walked by asked if I had enough orange juice, tea or coffee. The majority of the people were from West Africa and spoke both Walaf and Arabic. We were the only South Asians.



As we broke our fast with bread and butter, a lady asked, “what is your name?”

I replied, “Bassam.”

“Bachan? Like Amitabh Bachan”

It took me a second to realize she meant the legendary Bollywood heartthrob. We all laughed as she listed her favorite Indian movies

Dinner was going to be served after Isha prayers, but I had to get going. I promised them that next time I come I’ll make them a nice Pakistani dish and they are holding me to it.

On my way back, I started listing off all the different dishes I could make. Turns out I couldn’t make that many. Looks like I’ll head over to Patel Brothers in Jackson Heights and buy some daal.

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