Social Organisation “Al-Manar”, Kharkiv
“Al-Manar” was first of the registered social organisations that later floated AUASO “Alraid”. having begun with students’ amateur activities, it became one of the biggest centres of Muslim social life both in Kharkiv and in Ukraine in general.
Kharkiv Universities were very popular among foreign students since soviet times: about 18,000 foreign students were educated in the city every year back then. As Ukraine gained its Independence, foreign students practicing Islam decided to take advantage of freedom of creating social unions and fulfill their religious and cultural needs on their own. They gathered for Friday prayers, organized excursions and other joint events.
It became obvious in Fall 1993 that “friendly meetings” can’t accommodate increased number of members with many initiatives any more. So the young people decided to create a social organisation they named “Social organisation “Association Al-Manar” back then, and received a State registry certificate on January 27, 2015.
They didn’t have a separate office back then, and that was a problem, still, they quickly found a solution: they rented an events hall for several hours for holding prayers, celebrations and lessons.
“Al-Manar” contacted Muslims students from other Ukrainian cities first of all, and even facilitated an All-Ukrainian summer camp for activists from all over the country. Later they decided that cooperating with local Muslims would have much more effect, so they signed a treaty for cooperation with Kharkiv Muslim community consisting mostly of Tatars at that time. The Union was a success for both sides: besides joint events, Kharkiv Muslims offered their office at 31 Yaroslavska Str, where “Al-Manar” activists gave free lessons of religion and taught everyone willing (regardless their ethnic and religious background) Arabic and Oriental Culture in Muslim Countries.
In 1998 “Al-Manar” finally settled down in their own office; however, the need for a prayer hall for the growing Muslim community, classrooms and room for the growing library of books in Russian and Arabic, and also a hall for celebrations and mournings, remained. Years of persistence and devotion and search for sponsors, clearances and construction works — and the Islamic Cultural Centre of Kharkiv opens its doors for everyone.
Today Islamic Cultural Centre of the Social Organisation “Al-Manar” works for both Muslims and non-Muslims: there’s a Sunday School of Arabic language, lessons on medicine and other specialisations studied by foreign students in Kharkiv in order to help them improve their knowledge they have to gain in a foreign language.
The Centre is oriented on providing maximum information, adapting it for visitors of different religious views, gender and even languages,so that everyone can understand it; there are lessons in Russian, English and Arabic.
On Sundays’ there’s a “Men’s club”: they read the Qur’an and listen to the lectures. A similar club for women on Mondays and Thursdays. “English Club” gathers on Saturdays, where visitors can listen to lectures in English and improve their own speaking skills in a religious dispute. Besides, there’s an “Arabic club” with a similar programme on Saturdays as well.
All those groups, however, aren’t isolated: they are united by common interests and hobbies, sport events, excursions, picnics, walks, seminars and conferences, and also by Tajweed lessons held every Friday and every Saturday.
Address: 2 Baikalskyi lane, Kharkiv, 61000
tеl.: (+38057) 731 95 19
fax: (+38057) 731 95 18
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