Heat may hit Eid rush




ORGANISERS of a major annual Islamic educational event at BahrainÕs biggest mosque are expecting fewer numbers this year due to soaring temperatures and people escaping the heat for Eid.

Ahmed Al Fateh Islamic Centre (Grand Mosque) in Juffair is opening its doors for the second and third day of the holiday that marks the end of Ramadan to offer guests a unique insight into Islam.

Despite a dip in the numbers expected, hundreds of people are still set to attend over the two days and enjoy a host of activities including a Haj corner, henna painting, Arabic calligraphy, gifts corner and a childrenÕs corner.

Guests will also be able to try on traditional Arabic clothing.

Free Islamic literature and gifts will be handed out during the event, which will run from 9am to 4pm each day and is being held under the patronage of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa in co-operation with Discover Islam.

Guide Najma Mohammed Naeem, who has been working at the mosque for 17 years and is one of approximately 100 volunteers speaking 14 languages who will greet visitors, said such events were important to eliminate misconceptions about Islam and build bridges of understanding.

ÒWe are not expecting a huge crowd this year because many expats are travelling to their home countries in summer as schools are closed,Ó said Ms Naeem.

ÒBut we are still expecting a large number to attend, at least hundreds if not thousands.

ÒThe aim of organising such events is to bring together people of different faiths and religions Ð it is important for us to explain to all the non-Muslims about Islam and for them to get correct information about the religion.

ÒSo what we do during these two days is not only offer Arabic coffee, traditional dresses, sweets and interesting attractions, but also give an insight about Islam.

ÒWe distribute literature, including Quran copies, which are translated into English and many other languages.Ó

Ms Naeem explained that Ahmed Al Fateh Islamic Centre was the only mosque in Bahrain open to non-Muslims, who can visit anytime of the year Ð not just during Eid Ð after making an appointment.

ÒThey have to call prior to their visit and can learn about Islam and Muslims,Ó she added.

ÒThis will give them a better idea about Islamic culture and traditions.Ó

A record 3,700 people from 44 nationalities attended similar events held during last yearÕs Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha celebrations.

The 6,500sqm Grand Mosque has room for up to 70,000 worshippers, and has been holding tours for non-Muslims since 1998.

For more information or to book special tours, call Ms Naeem on 17727773 or 39817794

Source: http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=382668

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