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Religous Education

Local Mosque Opens Doors, Educates Community

The All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center invites residents to attend an open house event Sunday, March 4, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Sterling.

The Mosque Open House is part of the Open Houses of Faith program, coordinated by Girl Scout volunteers. Open Houses of Faith is an educational program, which began in February 2006, to educate D.C.-metropolitan area communities about different faiths and religions practiced here.

Priscilla Martinez is the Northern Virginia coordinator of Open Houses of Faith and a member of the ADAMS Center.

"Our goal is to welcome our neighbors into our facility and share with them some of our traditions," Martinez said. "Some may be different, some may be the same."

The ADAMS Center is one of many faith-based groups participating in the second annual event, this year. Bahá’í groups, Jewish synagogues and other mosques will also participate in the event. Girl Scouts will provide ADAMS Center visitors with information about Islamic art, history and culture, as well as serve authentic food to their guests.

"This is a non-proselytizing, very comfortable way of getting to know each other," she said. "Simply set up to educate, enlighten."

Girl Scouts will give tours of the mosque, provide food as well as henna tattoo hands and write in Arabic calligraphy.

RIZWAN JAKA, president of the ADAMS Center, encourages visitors to ask any questions they have at the event.

This is the ADAMS Center's second annual Open Houses of Faith Mosque Open House, however, they have hosted a number of open-house events over the past ten years, Jaka said.

The ADAMS Center, one of the largest Muslim mosques in the Washington, D.C.-metro area and in the United States, serves more than 5,000 families. The ADAMS Center has seven branches in Sterling, Ashburn, Fairfax, Leesburg, Reston, South Riding and Tysons Corner.

"We've always had an open-house policy," Jaka said.