The Victoria Ismaili Muslim community finally has a permanent Jamatkhana – a place of prayer and congregation.
Since the 1970s the Shia Muslim branch has rented space around the region for worship, but on Saturday (April 12) the Ismaili community will open the doors to the Capital Region’s first Jamatkhana.
“It certainly is a milestone for the Ismaili community in Victoria,” said Naz Rayani, who sat on the Jamatkhana organizing committee.
There are 65 Jamatkhanas in Canada, 17 in B.C.
The Victoria Jamatkhana is designed with the surrounding community in mind, Rayani said.
Located in the heart of Esquimalt in the municipality’s old city hall at 1250 Esquimalt Rd., Rayani said it was important the Jamatkhana made a positive imprint on the community.
The Jamatkhana is decorated with blue tiles and has a small outdoor courtyard. Upstairs are four classrooms which will be used for Sunday school. The facility also holds a kitchen and social room.
After six-months of renovations, Rayani said the 150 members are excited to put the building to use.
An open house will be held from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Rayani encourages everybody to visit.
There are approximately 20,000 Ismaili Muslims in B.C.