07 May Meet your Neighbour at the mosque
It was a sunny, bright afternoon as I got off the bus in the North west area of Calgary, Alberta. I approached the mosque, surrounded by beautiful evergreen trees, with a hint of the Rocky Mountains off in the distance. I’d been invited to an event put on by the Islamic Association of NW Calgary – the initiative was simple. Open the doors to one of the city’s local mosques and get to know your neighbours. It was an opportunity for citizens to connect, ask questions, share food and be in a place of peace and comfort, together. The Imam facilitated questions from a curious crowd, children ran about playing together and women gathered to show the art of henna and the difference between a niqab and a burqa.
The call to prayer began and the community gathered in prayer. Side by side, neighbour beside neighbour. Prayers for health, kindness and understanding were expressed. I can’t think of anything more crucial in our current landscape, than the simple act of gathering together with a shared goal of understanding. And it’s been a long time since I’ve witnessed a group of friendly strangers share an afternoon that encompassed so much joy, connection and laughter.
Thank you to the Islamic Association of Calgary for your openness, your initiative and your kindness. There are ties that bind us all.