Wednesday July 31, 2013

30 Masjids


Throughout Ramadan, Himy Syed plans to visit 30 mosques in 30 days. While passing through Ottawa, Himy dropped into the CBC studio to chat with Hallie. You can follow his journey at

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CBC Radio-Canada, 181 Queen Street, Ottawa Ontario - Tuesday July 30 2013

We’ll do a short live interview between 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. Wednesday July 31 2013, InshAllah !

You can listen online via the CBC Ottawa Morning Radio One livestream.
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01 - Crossing Bridge from Ontario into Quebec, looking at Ottawa River and Parliament Hill - Tuesday July 30 2013

Today, 30 Masjids Ontario became 30 Masjids Ontario & Quebec !

First things first, we need to cross the Border.

To do that, I walk across the Portage Bridge from downtown Ottawa. A few minutes later all the signs are in French.

02 - Yield to Pedestrian sign, Hull Gatineau, Quebec - Tuesday July 30 2013

Yep, 30Masjids has reached Quebec! Alhumdulillah.

03 - Bixi Capital Bike Sharing Map, Hull Gatineau, Quebec - Tuesday July 30 2013

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01 - Warren 8 North Bay 77 distance remaining sign on side of Trans Canada Highway fromSault Ste Marie - Monday July 29 2013

Next stop, North Bay.

With so few buses running regular schedules through North Bay, Ontario, staying any longer than the few hours in-between Greyhound’s two daily east-west trips, meant putting in two full days here.

This would be the shortest 30Masjids stop this Ramadan.
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In the Islamic Association of Sudbury, a Nikah (Marriage) Ceremony took place this Jumah.

Ibrahim and Samantha exchanged wedding vows after Friday prayers.
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Greyhound Bus 1173 Sault Ste Marie - Friday Morning July 26 2013

After praying Fajr in the nearby Islamic Association of Sault Ste Marie, Brother Yaser Garwan drove the short distance to the Howard Johnson’s hotel and dropped me off in front of the Greyhound office.

It’s still a couple of hours until Greyhound opens. Time flies by quickly enough doing Dhikr.

The office opens something past 6 a.m. The computers say the bus to Sudbury is sold out. I and an elder Francophone gentleman go on stand-by.

A couple of hours later, once the Eastbound Greyhound bus arrives from Thunder Bay, the driver assures us there will likely be seats.

He’s right. Turns out there were five seats available once everyone else boarded. Greyhound reservation computers don’t always tell the truth.

A few hours later, we arrive in town. There is plenty of time to make Jumah Friday Prayers at the Islamic Association of Sudbury at 755 Churchill Avenue in the east side of the city.

welcome-bienvenue Sudbury streetcar barns Friday July 26 2013

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We made the local news in Sault Ste Marie, Northern Ontario!

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This video is of Algoma University student Yaser Garwan performing the Fajr Adhan, the Dawn Call to Prayer on Friday Morning.

The Islamic Association of Sault Ste Marie, 677 MacDonald Avenue, is open for Fajr, Maghrib, Isha, and during the month of Ramadan, eight rakats of Taraweeh prayers.

At present, there are no Dhuhr nor Asr prayers taking place.

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01 - Tandoori Gardan, Sault Ste Marie, Thursday July 25 2013

It’s about 8 p.m. Tandoori Gardan Restaurant is buzzing. Barely an empty seat.

I’m waiting to place an order for take-out Iftar Dinner.

Sure enough, as the restaurant owner, Khurshid Khan, earlier informed me, Muslim students from the Algoma University Downtown Student residence a few doors down, do turn up to order take-out.

I quickly introduce myself and the 30 Masjids project.

Immediately, they invite me to their join their Iftar in the residence. Ramadan Hospitality FTW!

02 - Tandoori Gardan ordering take-out Iftar Dinner, Thursday July 25 2013
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01 - Tandoori Gardan, Sault Ste Marie, Thursday July 25 2013

For our interview, SooToday Reporter and Photojournalist Ken Armstrong drives us from the Islamic Association of Sault Ste Marie on the outskirts of town where we met, to Tandoori Gardan on Queen Street East in Downtown.

Tandoori Gardan is Sault Ste Marie’s First and Only Halal Food Restaurant.

It’s directly across the street from Smokey’s BBQ Pit & Patio. A rib joint.

02 - Smokey's BBQ Patio, Sault Ste Marie, Thursday July 25 2013

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IASSM - Sudbury Ontario Canada, Thursday July 25 2013 - 001

It’s something past 3 a.m. but before the dawn deadline when we must stop eating and drinking.

My ride, the Greyhound bus, has made a 15 minute rest stop at a Tim Horton’s near Parry Sound, Ontario.

Perfect time to pick up a Timmie‘s. It will be my sahoor for this day of fasting and travel from Toronto to Sault Ste Marie via Sudbury in Northern Ontario.

The plan is to reach the Islamic Association of Sault Ste Marie with plenty of time to make Dhuhr, Afternoon, Prayers. …that’s IF the masjid or musallah is even open at that time. We’ll see.

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Earlier today, I received the following email from Sister Nuha Elalem (@NuhaElalem), who with Asil Moussa, made the film Muslims of Windsor.


My name is Nuha Elalem and I just wanted to thank you for including our “Muslims of Windsor” film in your blog.

Asil and I worked very hard on it and when I heard you were interviewing her about it, I was very excited.

Hope all your future endeavors end in happiness and success, inshaAllah.

Best regards,


I emailed Nuha a few follow-up questions. She was kind enough to share some thoughts on being a young female filmmaker…

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Asil - Windsor, Ontario - Saturday July 20 2013

We sit down to do our Interview, Asil Moussa begins,

“Windsor’s Islamic Community is not normal…”

With that, it immediately becomes apparent this interview will also not be normal.

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West Windsor Musallah south view of 3330 Bloomfield Road, Windsor Ontario, Saturday July 21 2013

One of the last places to visit before leaving this part of Ontario is the West Windsor Musallah.

Looking it up on line, you will quickly find the address listed as 3330 Bloomfield Road. Finding the actual Musallah however, may take much longer than a quick search engine look-up…
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