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Dnipropetrovsk Muslim community was forced to move from one place to another during the past 18 years, and their rooms can be generally described by a proverb “it's a bit tight, but all right if we don't fight”. Today this community marks its “coming of age”, having settled down: from now on, a new Islamic Cultural Centre is open in Dnipropetrovsk, with prayer halls for both men and women, women’s department, library, conference-hall, classrooms and recreational zone. The centre was solemnly opened by head of AUASO “Alraid” Mr.Bassil Mareei, Mr.Borys Filatov, Mayor of Dnipropetrovsk, Deputy Head of Dnipropetrovsk State Administration Mr.Oleh Kuzhman and Mufti of RAMU “Umma” Sheikh Said Ismagilov.
The Islamic Centre is captained by Sheikh Edgar Devliqamov, Imam of the Dnipropetrovsk Muslim community “Vidrodzhennya” (Ukr. “Renaissance”) with a Masters degree in Shariah Theology. It was him who guided the guests to show them around the Centre and then invited them for pilaw, Oriental coffee, tea, and a variety of Oriental sweets.
Borys Filatov believes that opening the Islamic Cultural Centre in the city is an important step towards historical justice, for Islam has long routes in Dnipropetrovsk and the previous Mosque built by the citizens at their own cost and confiscated by the Soviet regime is not yet returned to the believers. The Mayor in happy that Muslims now have their own religious place, and believes that this Centre will be of use for non-Muslims as well, for they can come along and enrich their knowledge of world’s monotheistic religions.
This belief is shared by the Centre’s Imam Edgar Devliqamov, who openly announced that the institution’s door is open for everybody who comes in peace, regardless their religious views. He promised to make every effort in order to develop the city and its culture. At that, Muslims have been contributing not only to culture and dialogue, but also to the city’s economy for several years by now. According to Mr.Pavlo Fedosov, Head of Muslim community “Vidrodzhennya”, many Ukrainian producers approached the RAMU “Umma” with the help of their community, and asked to check their production sites in order to get recommendations how to arrange the work in terms of Shariah. They implemented the recommendations and successfully passed the Halal certification procedure, and now they sell their products on the markets of Muslim countries, having already gained tens of million dollars for the local economy.
Imam’s wife, Anastasia, is looking forward to the new prospects in their work. She says that many interesting ideas were placed on the shelf until better days, just because there simply wasn’t enough room for their implementation. They had to stick to a strict schedule, so that everyone could have their piece of time and activities.
As for now, the new projects were launched even before the construction works were over, the woman shares. The first pack of students are already learning Arabic (most of the 30 people are non-Muslims); women have their own place to gather, make plans and communicate over a cup of tea.
So to mention, the Woman’s department will have a full rebranding, for only one lady remained from the old crew, and the rest are the new participants with fresh ideas, initiatives and approaches.
Plans for the nearest future involve active social, educational, scientific and religious activities. They keep close ties with other Muslim communities of the city, and cooperate with religious communities of other confessions, develop dialogue and cooperation for the good of all, and want to reach the next level of active and quality work.