SNMC Journey – Part 1, Dr Emdad Khan


SNMC Journey – Part 1, Dr Emdad Khan

We are starting a new series of a 20 year long journey of building SNMC masjid and center. Recently, a few close friends and well-wishers, who worked with us at SNMC and UMO-OG (United Muslim Organizations – Ottawa Gatineau), requested us to write about the history of SNMC (South Nepean Muslim Community) Masjid and Center.

Br Dr. Farrukh Syed, for many years, was SNMC secretary and later vice president. He and other SNMC close friends agreed to give us some updates and feedback as required.

In June 1997, Emdad and Asma Khan with 4 children moved to Barrhaven at 365 Stoneway Drive. In July 1997 we started praying Maghreb/Isha in our basement. Using the Barrhaven phone book, having area codes 825/823, we called all Muslims sounding names. We got responses from 4/5 families.

A few of them were the late Dr. Irfan Ahmed, a professor of physics, who moved to our neighbourhood from Newfoundland after retirement, with his wife and two children. Dr Showkat Hashemi, who lived near the old Jockvale School Musallah, Late Br. Mohed Khan and his family, Br. Mahmud Syed, father-in-law of Br. Farrukh Syed father of Sr. Shazia, and Professor Alavi, his wife and 3 children.

We used to pray for 4/5 days, Isha/Maghreb, in the basement of our house. But sometimes at other houses of the above families. That was the informal birth of SNMC in July 1997 and Asma Khan became Dreamer of SNMC. She was the inspiration and motivation of SNMC, so we stayed in Ottawa and did not go back to Bahrain or Bangladesh.

In 1997, our estimate of Muslims in Barrhaven was approximately 750, but in 2022, based on Ottawa city data, greater Barrhaven has over 30,000 Muslims.

In July 1998, we moved our prayers from our home basement to the basement of the City Heritage School building, 3131 Jockvale Road.