Photos credit: Isseu Diouf Campbell
It took them twelve years, but they did it. The Muslim West-African community based in the Bronx, came together after the center where the community would gather burned down in 2009. A Fundraiser after another, they managed to create from the ashes a brand-new three-story building that includes a commercial kitchen, prayer halls for men and women, a library, offices, and classrooms for the youth.
With a sense of pride and gratefulness, leaders of the community, including Imam Bajaha and members of the Council of African Imams held a ceremony on October 9, 2021, to celebrate the reopening of the Islamic Cultural Center of the Bronx.
The Muslim leaders honored for their generosity, outstanding work, and support of the community in rebuilding the Islamic Cultural Center of the Bronx: the late Alhaji Mustapha Senghor and Almamy Ba, Ago Kolenovic, Abdul Rahman Mohamed, Rodney Leon, Louis Torres, NYPD 44th Precinct and Councilmember Vanessa Gibson.
Also honored were the imams of Masjid Rahman, Masjid Twaheed, Masjid Quba, Futa Islamic Center, Masjid Imam Malick, Masjid Sidiki, Mount Hope Masjid, Masjid Muhammad Ibn Wahab, Islamic Falah of America, Masjid Tawbah, Masjid Ebaadu Rahman, Masjid Deyau, Masjid Mubarak, Masjid Taqwa, and Masjid Ibn Abbas who received a certificate of appreciation for their outstanding contribution and service to the community.
Several officials, including the Gambian Ambassador to the UN H.E. Muhammadou M.O. Kah, the Malian Ambassador to the UN H.E. Sékou Kassé, Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark, future Bronx Borough president Vanessa Gibson, and the next District 16 Councilmember Latoya Joyner attended the event.
“As a community leader, immigrant, and father of first-generation Americans, this center is a dream come true,” said Bakary Camara, spokesperson of the Islamic Cultural Center of The Bronx. “It represents our legacy for generations to come, and it will constantly remind the future generation of their religion, culture, and values, and we hope that all will celebrate its reopening with us.”