St. John's Muslims searching for space to hold Eid
Muslims around the world are currently fasting as part of Ramadan, a time of cleansing and sacrifice. In St. John's, the Muslim population is growing so fast that they have run out of room for Eid, the large celebration that marks the end of Ramadan.
The Muslim Association of Newfoundland and Labrador estimates there are between 1,500 and 1,800 Muslims living in the province.
Muhammad Qureshi and his wife Raseela Khattar recently moved to St. John's, and are moving into their new house around a schedule that involves fasting between sunrise and sunset.
The couple has lived in Ontario and Labrador, and says the people of St. John's are friendly and welcoming.
"People are very cultured, they have a culture, they have time for others," said Qureshi. "They are good neighbours. Although all of the Canada is good, but especially Newfoundland and Labrador is a wonderful place to live."
The holy month is similar in religious importance to the Christian Christmas, said Mansoor Prizada. The growing Muslim population in the city has led to a problem, though, as they are now unsure of where the expected 350 Muslims will celebrate Eid.
"We have very limited options, especially in St. John's. We have tried all the big hotels, they don't have enough space," said Prizada.
There isn't room at the mosque either, where they can barely fit enough people in the building for Friday prayer. The mosque has bought land on Sugar Loaf Road but they still need a design and then approval from the city.
The Muslim Association is working hard to find a last minute space for Eid celebrations. They have identified two locations that would be big enough, but they don't know if they are available.