Muslim Voices — Masjid Mosque
0:00:06:>>ROSEMARY PENNINGTON: Welcome to Muslim Voices. I'm your host Rosemary Pennington. Virtually anywhere you find a Muslim community, you'll find a mosque or masjid, its name in Arabic. The masjid is where Muslims gather on Fridays, the holy day for the congregational prayer. It's also used for other prayers throughout the week. But a mosque is more than simply a house of worship. It's often the heart of the Muslim community, many offering much more than prayer services. The mosque in Bloomington, Ind. for instance, offers Arabic lessons on Sundays. It also often has open houses for the community at large to help Muslims and non-Muslims get to know each other. A journalism student at Indiana University wanted to show people the multifaceted nature of mosques and created a video about Bloomington. He spoke with Muslim Voices about shooting the piece, as well as what the mosque means to him.
0:01:02:>>AZIZ AL-GUARINI: My name is Aziz Al-Guarini and I'm studying journalism and from Kuwait. I did this video - I want just the people to know or to inform them about the mosque and what kind of service it has like beside the praying time, like they offer classes for children like to teach them Arabic, Quran, and the prophet stories, whatever. So it's about like - it's not about praying, it's just about praying and classes.
0:01:34:>>ROSEMARY PENNINGTON: Why was it important for you to show people the other things that the mosque does?
0:01:39:>>AZIZ AL-GUARINI: I had a lot of questions about this issue. People just ask me, why you go to the mosque? And I said I mean, I go to pray and also, I mean, sometimes I teach there, teach Arabic. You can volunteer to teach Arabic there. So they asked me, what do you do like for weekends? I said like every Sunday, I go to teach in the mosque beside praying.
0:02:03:>>ROSEMARY PENNINGTON: So how important is the mosque to you personally, whether it's here or it's back home in Kuwait, how important is it to you?
0:02:10:>>AZIZ AL-GUARINI: Back home, I mean, you know, I mean Friday is the holy day for Muslims. So I mean, it's not the only day that's important but you can go like anytime you go, you feel like you want to, you know, pray and anytime you want to meet people, anytime you want to talk there about religion stuff, you know? And I mean, it's an important thing for most Muslims here, also in Bloomington.
0:02:36:>>ROSEMARY PENNINGTON: So you go to pray but you also go to be involved. It sounds like in just a community as a whole, it's not just about praying, it's about sort of meeting the rest of...
0:02:47:>>AZIZ AL-GUARINI: It's about meeting like the Muslim people here and introduce myself to, you know, to work together and do like events like I mean, this weekend, we're making like something called the awareness panel for Muslim people and also, for other religions. And I think the week after, we're doing something about fasting and helping the poor people. We usually do it at Ramadan but we're doing it like next week to, you know, to inform people about what Ramadan means to us.
0:03:21:>>ROSEMARY PENNINGTON: Are there many differences between going to mosque back home in Kuwait and going to mosque here?
0:03:26:>>AZIZ AL-GUARINI: The only difference I see is like the diverse maybe. Like people from all over the - like Muslims from all over the world they come to the mosque here. But in Kuwait, like you see just Kuwaiti people there. That's all. That's the only difference.
0:03:42:>>ROSEMARY PENNINGTON: This video was shown in class that you did about the Bloomington mosque. Were there many other Muslims in your class?
0:03:48:>>AZIZ AL-GUARINI: Actually, I did it with a Muslim student. Her name is Sarah. And I think we were the only Muslims in the class.
0:03:58:>>ROSEMARY PENNINGTON: If there's one thing that people should know about mosque, about going to mosque or what the mosque means to a Muslim, what would you think it would be?
0:04:07:>>AZIZ AL-GUARINI: I want them to think like the mosque it's not like just a place to pray. It's a place to meet people and, you know, and introduce them to a religion they don't know, maybe they don't know about, or they don't know a lot about. And maybe learn Arabic there if they want to learn Arabic. They can go to the mosque and there's free classes there.
0:04:31:>>ROSEMARY PENNINGTON: So should a non-Muslim feel comfortable going into the mosque?
0:04:34:>>AZIZ AL-GUARINI: I've met a lot of American I can say. I've seen a lot of American there in the mosque. They used to go there every Friday since this is the holiday for the Muslims to meet the people there and, you know, talk with them and they want to ask something they don't know about.
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0:04:55:>>ROSEMARY PENNINGTON: This has been Muslim Voices, a production of the voices and visions project in partnership with WFIU public media from Indiana University. Support comes from the Social Science Research Council, music was provided by Animus. You can find us on Twitter and Facebook or subscribe to our podcast in iTunes. There's also a blog, muslimvoices.org.
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