Muslims in the Bay Area and around the world are observing Ramadan August 1 to 30 this year.

A 25-year-old UC Berkeley grad, Zuhair Sadaat, has set out to capture the diversity of the region’s Muslim community with a blog called: 30 Mosques in 30 Nights.

Today he highlighted the Islamic Society of Contra Costa County in Concord and spent a paragraph talking about the youth:

The first thing I noticed about the masjid was the activity of the younglings. Not only were they at the mosque, but they were vacuuming the carpet in preparation for isha and taraweeh. The masjid has iftar every night and the kids were more than happy to help clean up. I can’t remember the last time I saw a kid willingly vacuum the carpets of MCA or even MCA’s own Masjid An-Noor. In Islamic school, if anything, it was a punishment.

The Berkeley Patch has a great post about Sadaat and the blog which he started last year.

[He] knew the Bay Area Muslim world was more varied than his parents’ 3,000-member, suburban Santa Clara mosque, where the congregation encompassed doctors, engineers, and other successful professionals…

Sadaat (rhymes with Zagat) visited a different mosque each night of the holy month of Ramadan, sizing up everything from shoe shelves and parking to the imam’s ability to inspire when leading the nightly taraweeh prayers.

If the blog inspires you and you want more than a virtual tour of your neighborhood mosque, you’re in luck.  CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations) is sponsoring open houses at mosques throughout the Bay Area this month.  The events require RSVP’s and kick off this Saturday in Santa Clara, Oakland, and Fremont.

Invitation to Bay Area open mosques, courtesy of CAIR
Invitation to Bay Area open mosques, courtesy of CAIR

Sadaat’s blog isn’t the only intersection of technology and Ramadan this year. The Daily Star in Lebannon has this rundown of technology tools that are helping Muslims around the world during this holy month. Some of the most popular are: Ramadan 2011, Ramadan Pro, Ramadan Calendar, Ramadan Diet Plan, Ramadan Kit, Muslim Guide, Athkar, Qibla, Azan, Islamic Pocket Guide and iPray.

Religious apps have existed as long as apps themselves, but this year Ramadan apps also seem to be taking advantage of geo-location, giving users information about prayer and fasting times based on their current cities, as well as an being able to provide an internal compass, which gives the precise direction in which to pray toward Mecca, notes Lebanese American University media professor Imad Aytani.

Post your own stories about celebrating Ramadan in the Bay Area here.

Bay Area Muslim Community Celebrates Ramadan, Holds Open Houses 10 August,2011Rachel Dornhelm

  • Thanks for covering this Rachel! We look forward to seeing many new faces at the Open House events.

    Zahra Billoo


Rachel Dornhelm

Rachel Dornhelm has worked as a reporter, editor and producer in public radio for the last twelve years. She got her start in New York City at WNYC and went on to work with the national business program Marketplace, WBUR’s “On Point” and KQED News in San Francisco. Her work has been honored by the LA Press Club and the SF-Peninsula Press Club.

Rachel has a BA with honors in anthropology from Rice University and did graduate work at NYU.

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