In 1992, several local Muslim families recognized the need for another Islamic institution to serve the ever-expanding Muslim community and to provide services to the non-Arabic speaking Muslims.  The group started meeting at the meeting room of Masonville Mall to plan and map the road for the new organization, which was named the Islamic Centre of Southwest Ontario. Early congregation gatherings were held at the auditorium of Fanshawe Collage until the Centre property was purchased.

 

FOUNDING BOARD

On May 31, 1993 members of the group formed the founding board of directors that served from 1993 until the incorporation of the Centre in 1996. The Founding Board consisted of Yahya Emara (President) , Mohamad Sabawi (V. President) Hisham Slim (Treasurer), Hanny Hassan (English Secretary), Kadri Mostafa (Arabic Secretary) and Najet Hassan, Hanny Shousher, Hanny Shafey, Ilbert Walker, Naeem Qureshi, Saeed Sabawi, Abdul Aziz Alaeddine, Esma Mazreki as Directors.  Three additional members, namely Zafar Hussain and Assem Fadel, and Aziz Qaraan were later added to the Founding Board.

During this period, Yehya Emara, Hanny Shousher, and Hisham Slim successively occupied the position of President and chairman of the founding board.

 

BUILDING PROJECT

Early in 1994 brother Hanny Shousher was assigned the task of locating the right property in London to establish the Centre, and found an empty commercial building for sale that was the former General Motor’s office and training centre. The site was ideal. It had paved parking for 130 cars, and all the necessary facilities such as operational heating and air conditioning system, men and women washrooms and individual offices ideal for classrooms.

The property was expensive but ideal. The founding board was not united to make an offer to purchase. Brother Kadri Mostafa worked hard and tirelessly to convince the board and to solicit community support. Without his enthusiasm and zeal the purchase would not have been made. He was truly the father of the building project and the prime mover behind owning our Centre. Unfortunately, he passed away before the deal was closed.

Since the Centre was not incorporated at that time, brothers Hanny Shousher and Hisham Slim together signed the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, thereby taking total financial and legal responsibility for the property. The offer made was significantly lower than the property was listed for but with the help of Allah (SWT) and the kindness of General Motors’ management; the offer was accepted even though the realtor did not believe it was possible.

During the process of negotiating this deal, Brother Hanny received a personal call from the President of GM Canada.  She was impressed with the group’s goals to improve services to vulnerable Muslim youth while providing another important community Centre for the community. Further, she was awed by the fact that eight local families raised the money to pay for the property themselves, rather than seeking government or other outside funding.  The offer was then accepted, and many volunteers stepped up to renovate the property to better serve the community.

Brother Hisham Slim and Brother Hanny Shousher held the property in trust until The Islamic Centre was incorporated and registered as a charitable religious institution.  By that time, the loans were paid off by donations from the generous members of the Muslim community, who continue to support the Centre and its programs to this day.

A special thank you to all of those who – through their kind donations and volunteering of their time and skills – have allowed The Islamic Centre to thrive.  May Allah (SWT) reward and bless you all.

 

FOUNDING FAMILIES

The community was very supportive of the building purchase and many members came forward with generous donations and loans. To facilitate the purchase of The Islamic Centre from General Motors in 1994, immediate full payment of the purchase price was required. Eight of the thirteen founding board members and their spouses made the bold and courageous commitment to obtain personal loans to cover the balance of the purchase price. The Islamic Centre wishes to acknowledge the sacrifice and tireless efforts of the Founding Families.   More importantly they have contributed immensely to the success of The Centre and many are still very active today.

Assem & Aneesa Fadel                   Naeem & Brenda Qureshi

Hanny & Najet Hassan                   Dr. Hany & Dr. Naema Shafey

Dr. Zafar & Inge Hussain               Hanny & Fadia Shousher

Gani & Esma Mazreki                     Hisham & Ayesha Slim

 

HISTORY OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The Founding Board of Directors served from 1993 until incorporation in 1996. In 1996 the Islamic Centre of Southwest Ontario was registered as a charity. From that date until today, a number of community members volunteered to serve on the board in various positions and responsibilities. Their tireless efforts and dedication made the Centre what it is today. We thank each and everyone one of them for his/her valued contributions.

Past Presidents

Yahya Emara                     1993

Hanny Shousher               1993

Hisham Slim                       1993 – 2000

Zafar Hussain                     2001

Faisal Joseph                     2001 – 2004

Assem Fadel                      2005

Mohammad Yassine        2006 – 2009

Hassan Mostafa                2010 – 2012

Mohammad Yassine        2013

Hassan Mostafa                2014 – 2016

 

Past Directors

Shaffiek Abdool                                              Sally Abdool

Basel Abukhater                                             Nazem Abou Chami

Ghina Al Suwaidi                                            Ishraq Ali

Razia Ali-Hassan                                             Abdallah Baroudi

Parveen Basharat                                           Salim Chahbar

Wafa Daoud                                                    Wajdi Darwish

Majda Delic                                                     Munir El Kassem

Siham El Kassem                                             Mohammad Elsayed

Assem Fadel                                                    Adeel Farouqui

Atiq Farouqui                                                  Ashraf Ghani

Emad Haider                                                    Jaafer Haider

Najat Hassan                                                   Salma Hijazi

Ashfaq Hussain                                               Rifat Hussain

Surraya Hussain                                              Sherin Hussain

Zafar Hussain                                                   Mahmoud Idris

Faisal Joseph                                                   Isaf Khalil

Mohamad Mankal                                         Naji Mankal

Yusuf Mankal                                                  Esma Mazreki

Barakat Misk                                                   Naseem Moothwani

Fatma Mostafa                                               Hassan Mostafa

Aziz Qaraan                                                     Naeem Qureshi

Zahid Sardar                                                    Hany Shafey

Fadia Shousher                                               Hanny Shousher

Tarek Shousher                                               Hisham Slim

Nasser Soufan                                                 Ilbert Walker

Mohammad Yassine