Dr. A.K. Tayiem is the president of the Islamic Center of Leavenworth.


Dr. A.K. Tayiem is the president of the Islamic Center of Leavenworth.

1. How long has the Islamic Center of Leavenworth been open and what sorts of services, programs and amenities does the center offer to the local community? Are the services in English?
The Islamic center on Oregon Street was opened in November, 2006. Before that we were praying in a duplex located on Ninth Street.
The Muslims in Leavenworth, Lansing, St. Joseph, Mo.; and Kansas City, Kan., come to the Islamic center for Friday prayers. Now there is a Mosque in St. Joseph, Mo. which opened this year.
The Friday lecture is in Arabic and with English translation. The center is available for the Muslims to offer their five prayers each day.
The Muslims use the Center during Ramadan to offer special nightly prayers for Ramadan, which takes about 75 minutes.
We just celebrated Eid Al Fiter (breaking of fasting at the end of Ramadan), on Aug. 30.
The Muslims on Tuesday gathered with their families to celebrate that day with special prayer and lectures and to share the sweets from various Muslim countries.
The other coming Eid is Eid Al Adha, when Muslims celebrate the annual Hajj to Mecca and remember the ultimate obedience of our prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) when he was ordered to sacrifice his son for the sake of Allah (God) when Allah sent him a sheep from heaven to sacrifice instead of his son.
 
2. The Islamic Center has a vast library. What sort of books are available and what range of topics are covered by the reading material? What book would you recommend for someone who would like to find out more about Islam?
The center has a collection of books about various subjects of the Islamic religion, in addition to the Holy Book of the Quran.  We have small books about the  introduction to Islam.
 
3. The center has been the religious home to many Muslim military officers from all over the world who are completing training at Fort Leavenworth. How has the Center enhanced Leavenworth's image around the world by making these officers feel at home?
One of the most important reasons to build the Islamic center is to accommodate the Fort Leavenworth officers who come from various Muslim countries with their families, so they may have a place to offer their prayers and to use the Center for other social occasions, since we have a large social room equipped with a full kitchen.
The officers’ families enjoy that very much and get to know each other and most of them then stay in touch with us and with themselves after they go back home.
 
4. Has the Center seen more attendees during the recent celebration of Ramadan and can you tell our readers about the significance of Ramadan to Muslims?
During the month of Ramadan, large numbers of Muslim families share the dinner together in the Center and offer their nightly prayers.
They come from surrounding towns.
Each year we invite our friends from Kansas City for Iftar (dinner), one evening in Ramadan.
This year we had more than 200 people come to our dinner.
 
5. The Islamic Center of Leavenworth welcomes all worshipers in the area. Are inquiring visitors who would like to find out more about the traditions of Islam encouraged to visit the center?
We welcome visitors at any time regardless what their religion or country is. This year we had a class from UMKC on Friday who attended our annual dinner as well.
We have very informative discussions about religions.
Anybody interested can call: Dr. Tayiem; 913-367-3900; Dr. Ashkar, vice president: 913-682-6818,682-6245; or Dr. Habib, secretary: 913-682-6200.
The center is located at 545 Oregon Street, Leavenworth, Kan.

— Rimsie McConiga