Friday afternoon is a busy time. Parents are rushing to collect their children from elementary school, state employees are wrapping up their work week and others are heading to a late, long lunch.
But at one spot in the city, something else is going on.
At a two-story stucco house near Santa Fe's South Capitol district, Muslim men and women remove their shoes before entering. They gather in silence or with hushed voices, looking out a window that faces east, toward Mecca. They offer prayers to Allah and listen to a khutbah sermon. Afterward, they share a meal and a time of fellowship.
Friday afternoons are to Muslims what Sunday mornings are to Christians, and what Saturdays are to Jews.
So, every weekend is a merry-go-round of the faithful on the blocks around Barcelona and Cordova streets. There, among a veritable religious enclave, sits a Jewish temple, a Methodist church, a building for a Unitarian Universalist congregation, and now the TaHa Mosque, among others.
"Muslims have been here for a long time in Santa Fe, for about 20-something years, and over the years we have rented places," explains Abdul Alaziz Eddebbarh, who serves as imam for the group. "And then last year, around the first of October, we bought this place, and we call it a mosque and we are in the process of making it look like a mosque. In the future, we are hoping to build a nice structure, a nice mosque that adds to the beauty of Santa Fe."
Santa Fe's Muslim community formerly met for Friday prayers in a room at a grocery store. Although some still pray at the store, many of the city's followers of the prophet Muhammad now meet instead at the mosque on Barcelona. (MORE)