With her shoes off in the recently renovated prayer hall at the Schuylkill County Islamic Society mosque Sunday afternoon, borough resident Georgette Roberts got the opportunity to observe society members in prayer.

“We have never been in here. It’s gorgeous. I love the simplicity. I love how they taught us all about the prayers,” said Roberts, who was with her husband, John.

They were among the 125 people from the public who came to the mosque’s open house Sunday, according to society president Dr. Mohamed M. Meeran, who said the turnout was “excellent.”

It was an opportunity for people to see the renovations done to the building. Closed for more than a year after an April 11, 2007, fire caused major interior damage, the 1043 E. Norwegian St. mosque reopened with a prayer service on May 2, Meeran said.

“This is outstanding. They did a remarkable job in bringing it back,” said David Bowen, Frackville.

For the occasion, Dr. Abdul Wahhab donated one of his original oil paintings, “Clivia,” which is of a orange-colored Kafir lily, to be raffled off. The winner was Danielle Boris, Lake Wynonah, according to Meeran.

Using a microphone in the prayer hall, society member Abdel-Hamid Hnesh, Pottsville, explained some Muslim prayer traditions to visitors.

Meanwhile, guests feasted in on the first floor, where tables were laden with food, including hoagies, samosa and pakora. (MORE)


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