News & Islam News Maryam Centre Development Maryam Centre Soft Launch for Ramadan 2013 The East London Mosque’s exciting new development, the Maryam Centre opens its doors this Ramadan for the community. Last year only the ground floor was temporarily opened for Ramadan. Dedicated to women’s prayer space and services, the nine storey construction started in 2009, as part of the Mosque’s phase 2 development plan to provide further prayer space for the congregation. Muslim community and leaders have been invited on Friday, 5 July at the Mosque and London Muslim Centre complex, for Jumu’ah (Friday) prayers at the new Centre. “Ramadan is a spiritual and festive time for Muslims. So it is with great joy, we can open the Maryam Centre for the community”, said Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, Chairman of East London Mosque Trust. Speaking about the Mosque’s history that spans over a century, he added: “The Mosque has certainly come a very long way since its early beginnings in 1910. Our founding fathers would have been proud! Today, we provide more than just religious and spiritual services to serve one of the most diverse congregations in the country.” The Maryam Centre houses a new larger prayer hall for women; educational facilities for girls and women; women’s advice and guidance services; health facilities including a gymnasium exclusively for women. The development cost £9.5 million in total and has been solely funded by the community, with donation pledges of £5.5 million. The Mosque continues to fundraise for the remaining £4 million. The Mosque as ever is grateful to donors and the community who have supported this project. Dilowar Khan, Director of the Mosque and Centre, said: “We are extremely indebted to the community for all their support thus far and it has achieved very tangible results, and we continue to work together to raise the outstanding funds.” A survey conducted by the Mosque and Centre in Ramadan 2010, concluded that during the month the Mosque had 250,000 visitors during congregational prayers. Maryam Centre Temporary Opening July 2012 An action packed Ramadan came to an end with thousands of worshippers turning out for six Eid prayers. The temporary opening of the Maryam Centre's main prayer hall, for Ramadan and Eid ul-Fitr, helped accommodate hundreds more people for Jumu'ah and Tarawih. It was a phenomenal success! Many well-wishers in the community can't wait till the new Centre is fully open. The Maryam Centre is more than half complete, with continuing works taking place throughout the building site. The building contractors are currently working on the new ‘link', which will join the Maryam Centre with the London Muslim Centre and East London Mosque, on the ground and first floors. Fundraising efforts for the Maryam Centre have gone well this Ramadan, Alhamdullilah. A total of £722,101.17 was pledged including Qard Hasanah during the live Channel S fundraiser and on the 27th night of Ramadan at the Mosque. To date donors have pledged £5.2m for the Maryam Centre and we have received around £3.8m. The new entrance concourse included a full size visualisation of the Alhambra donors wall. Insha’Allah, by next Ramadan we hope to complete the Maryam Centre. This year the Olympics coincided with the Islamic month of Ramadan, which meant London played host to different people from all over the world, including many Muslim visitors. The buzz of the Olympics and Ramadan attracted media attention, with members of the Press eager to visit the Mosque and Centre to interview members of the congregation, and also document the Iftar and Prayers for news broadcasts. The Mosque Chairman, Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, was a board member of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, helping to promote London 2012 and to advise on faith related matters. 5 March 2012 With most of the external shell complete, work has now begun on the link between the new development and the ELM and LMC. The complex will be joined at both ground and first floor level, which will require the construction of a link bridge between the mosque and the neighbouring synagogue. Inevitably, the works will have some impact on our current facilities. Very soon the corridor that connects the LMC concourse to the women's area of the mosque will have to be closed during vital structural work. Insha'Allah, the corridor will re-open before Ramadan. The internal specification has almost been finalised, so soon work will recommence on the inside of the building. No completion date has been set, but it is essential we increase our efforts to raise funds so that we can pay for all the work as we go along. Maryam Centre 50% Complete November 2011 Since Ramadan work has continued on the outer shell of our Phase 2 expansion, the Maryam Centre. The windows have been installed and the roofing completed. This marks the half-way point – a significant milestone for our community. The fundraising drive in Ramadan raised over £1million in donations, pledges and Qard Hasanah, reflecting the wonderful support the East London Mosque continues to enjoy from ordinary Muslims, who recognise the important role the mosque plays. A major fundraiser on Channel S saw the community donate over £500,000, with a similar amount at the mosque on the 27th night of Ramadan. The ELM cake stall made a return this Ramadan, with all the proceeds going towards the new building. People who attend Jumu’ah prayers will know we already operate at maximum capacity – hence the need for more space is paramount. In particular, the prayer capacity for women in the Maryam Centre should make a huge difference for those who struggle to find a space to pray on Fridays. Donations are still being accepted; the Al-Hambra Wall has only 140 spaces left, but contributions can also be made towards the new Visitor Exhibition Centre or even a prayer space for the new halls. 9 September 2011 Most of the scaffolding has been removed to reveal the finished exterior. In particular, the new mosaic elevation on the Whitechapel road side now plays its role as an impressive backdrop to the mosque's golden dome. The interior block work is almost complete. We now intend to pause the construction work, partly to allow more time for fundraising, but also to design the link that will connect Phase 2 at ground and first floor levels to the existing mosque and centre. We expect work to recommence in the Spring of 2012, insha’Allah. 6 May 2011 As work continues at a steady pace, about 80% of the internal block work has now been completed. From the outside the external brickwork is now clearly visible from all elevations as it gradually rises up the building, using the same two brick colours as in the ELM and LMC (‘cheddar golden’ and ‘cheddar red’). A third colour, dark brown, is used on the zig-zag elevation behind the mosque dome where later this year the mosaic design will be installed. 12 January 2011 Since our last update, the steel structure had gone up and our builders have been busy concreting floors. We have also agreed on the new colour scheme of the building with London Borough of Tower Hamlets planning department and have selected a Golden Chestnut colour, using the two colours that are familiar from the mosque. Scaffolding is now in progress and going up around the building. Then the external brickwork will commence between now and February. May Allah help us in this endeavour. 9 August 2010 The steel structure is now complete, all the floors have been concreted, and the crane has been taken away. Soon work will begin on the external envelope and the block work for the internal layout. 23 June 2010 The steel structure is almost finished, and the decking for all the floors is in place. Right now the concrete is being poured on each floor, which should be complete by the end of June, insha’Allah. In July the block work should begin, as the layout of each floor begins to take shape. 19 November 2009 A large crane has now been installed. The building will be built around it over the next several months. Meanwhile, work on the foundations continues 19 June 2009 Enabling works have now begun! New fire exits are being prepared for the prayer halls, and access from the rear of the mosque has been blocked off as the area is board up – we can still reach the mosque from Fieldgate Street via the LMC. 13 March 2009 A new application for planning has been lodged for a building that will deliver more services to the local community, particularly for women. 10 December 2007 Provisional planning permission has been granted for the new development. However, the mosque is now considering a revision to make even better use of the available space and deliver more services to the community.