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The Islamic Cultural Center was established in 1999, about ten years ago to fulfill the religious obligations of the West African Muslims in the county of the Bronx. This immigrant group only started coming here in significant numbers in the mid-eighties. Before we bought the center,we all used to pray in our homes or in Guyanese, Pakistani and Bangladeshi Masjids if you live close nearby any. There were very few Masjids in the Bronx.
We started getting concentrated in the Bronx in the late eighties and early nineties. By this time, we had a handful of elderswith Islamic knowledge. Respected individuals like Imam Banana, Mustapha Senghore, Musa Kabba, Mahamadou Soukouna, Musa Waggeh and Baba Jagana. These people started to organize Dhikr sessions to remind us of our Deen. If anyone of us had any religious ceremonies such as naming ceremonies, marriage ceremonies, burial ceremonies or received a message of a loved one’s death from back home, these individuals stood up, gathered the community people to preside the event.
As the community grew larger, we decided to get a center where we could fulfill all our religious and social obligations. We rented an apartment on the ground floor of a building at Jessup Avenue for a few years which was called Masjid Deyau. A few years later, as the community was growing, we decided to get a bigger place. Some of our brothers inspired us to buy a place that we could call our own. We found and bought an old building which we renovated by ourselves with the help of our whole community. At this time, the Islamic Cultural Center was born.
English is not our mother tongue, so in order to meet the needs of our families, we stated by organizing some programs to assist us in growing, mentally, religiously and productively. Below are some of those programs we organized:

• Islamic Education
• After school programs
• Summer youth development programs
• Marriage counseling
• Adult Literacy programs and ESL
• Memorial services to bereaved families and
• Iftar programs during the Blessed Month of Ramadan.

On September the 17 2009, on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr which is one of the two biggest holidays in the Islamic Calendar, the Islamic Cultural Center was tragically consumed by fire. Thereafter it was declared by the NYC Building Department as unsafe and must be demolished. The Islamic Cultural Center played a significant role in lives of the Muslims in the Bronx County. If we are not able to continue the before mentioned programs and services for whatever reason, it will have a serious impact on the community at large. This is why we are kindly appealing to all Muslims to lend a hand in our efforts of rebuilding our center.
The famous Hadith of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) goes:
“Whoever build a Masjid for the sake of Allah,
Allah will build for him a house in Jannah (Paradise)”
We have been consulting with a Muslim brother who is an engineer. He has been offering his expertise pro bono, may Allah reward him. We have shared with him our aims and aspirations on rebuilding our center. In addition to rebuild our center, we would like an Islamic school. Our long term goal is to build up to six floors. He has put together some estimate tailored towards those goals. This will create 24,000sq.ft space.
The first and second floor will be the Masjid. The third and fourth will house the Islamic school and library. The basement will contain a kitchen and a food pantry for the preparation of food for Iftar during the Blessed Month of Ramadan and other occasions. And finally, the fifth and sixth floor will be living spaces. The entire project has been estimated to cost 3.6 to 4Million Dollars.
This is a very ambitious goal, but after a series of consultations amongst the leaders and members of our community, we decided to divide the project into two phases which will be more realistic and achievable.
The first phase is a 12000sq.ft space. This space will have the Masjid in the first and second floor; the third floor will house the Islamic school, library and offices to continue some of the counseling services mention earlier. The first phase is estimated to cost $1.8million (Dollars). Thanks to Allah, we have so far raised $800,000.00 and we still need to raise $2.2million (Dollars). By the Will of Allah, we hope to raise this amount in about a year.
We will keep you all updated as the project progress.
Inside this package, you will find letters fromthose great city and state elected officials, leaders of the community and individuals supporting us.
Also enclosed are video clips during the tragic fire that claimed nine children and a mother, you will find a copy of our tax ID#, tax deductible for any donation you make to Islamic Cultural Center.
The Bronx Islamic Cultural Center has been recognized and awarded by Bronx Borough President Mr. Ruben Diaz Jr.
Letters from Michael Benjamin, NY State assemble man District 79thBronx County.
A letter from Helen Diane foster, council member 16th District Bronx NY
A letter from Vanessa Gibson, NY State assemble woman 77th District Bronx County. Continue next page
We thank all those city &state elected officials, individuals and along with others who had joined together to support us at Islamic Cultural Center, for their help and sustenance.
May He in Whose Hands all our souls are in protect us, and keep us steadfast in the path of righteousness. Give us ability to continue to give in his sake as He is the Most Bountiful and He gives to all without measure.
We pray that Allah keep all of you and your families under His care.

Assalamu’Alaykum wa Rahmaatullah wa Barakatuhu.
Baba Jaiteh
The president of the Islamic Cultural Center.


Board Members

Hajie A Tunkara (917) 971-2669
Bakary Camara (917) 568-5763
Kantara Baragi (646) 719-6337
Boubou Daware (646) 541-5129

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