The grand opening of the new Islamic centre in Milton Keynes was a huge success. Yasmin Khan from BBC Three Counties radio spent the day at the centre, airing her show live. Photographer and Enterpuner Rooful Ali attending the event, capturing the atmosphere with his inspiring photography. An art exhibition was set up displaying Roofuls finest work. Rooful Ali is well known for setting up the Emerald Network, a networking
group aimed at Muslim professionals in London.
Other big names to arrive on the day included the local, world-famous nasheed artist Khaleel Muhammed. Khaleel has played a huge role in helping with the development of the centre, from supporting the youth to singing at many fundraising events. His hit album includes Heaven and he has also written the Muslim All-Stars audio story (available on Amazon).
One of the most common points of discussion at the event was the diversity of the turnout. People came from different backgrounds and nationalities, there was also a large group of people who had converted/reverted to Islam.
The nursery opened to visitors, allowing parents and children to play. An arts and craft section was set up for children who wanted to explore their creative side. Many stalls and exhibitions were presented, each with it's own unque theme, aims and people.
The Converts circle was relativly new at the time of the open day. The circle is a network of people who were not born Muslim however converted to the faith at some point in their lives. This network also includes their families. They hold a number of events including Iftars during Ramadan, weekly circles, trips and more.
Amoung the groups was the Womens group or Sisters Circle. Many Mosques around the country do not offer facilities for women. The Milton Keynes Islamic Centre however does provide many facilities and oppotunities to allow women to get involved. The womens group offer activities and events such as 'Coffee and play' and the 'Book Club'. There are also many women only classes throughout the year.
During Ramadan 2014, the Ramadan FM radio station broadcast from the Islamic Centre for the first time. Members of the RFM management team spoke about the benefits of having the radio station broadcast from the centre and the special guests they had come visit the centre during the month, such as Nazeel Azmi (Album: Dunya) and Hamza Tzortis!
Overall the open day was a big success with Muslims and non-muslims enjoying what the centre had to offer. As the sun was setting, food was layed out for everyone to enjoy.
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Photos on this page are courtesy of Aliway.co.uk