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Page last updated at 13:07 GMT, Wednesday, 3 June 2009 14:07 UK
Being a Muslim in Wrexham

Howida Elkhawad
By Howida Elkhawad
Howida, who moved to Wrexham from Sudan in 1993, talks about her religion and why there's a local need for a permanent mosque

As Muslims we pray five times a day. Friday is a special day for us, like Sunday is in Christianity. Even if people are working they try and take an hour or two off on Fridays to get together and pray.

During Ramadan we fast from sunrise to sunset then on Fridays we get together to break our fast at the mosque. We all eat together and stay there as a community.

We want to integrate with other communities. We are Muslim but we are British too!
Howida Elkhawad

People don't realise how many Muslims there are in Wrexham. We currently use rooms at Glyndwr University as a mosque. Sometimes there are 160 men and 10 women there. Between us we speak 20 languages! There isn't enough room for us all at Glyndwr University.

We would like a community centre so that we can have a school for the children. Children need to learn about their religion and culture. At the moment we have nowhere we can keep chairs, tables etc.

We would like a centre so that we can tell people about Islam and invite other faith communities to meet with us. We want to integrate with other communities. We are Muslim but we are British too! If other faith communities invite us to visit them we can't invite them back. We don't have a permanent Imam here because we don't have a permanent mosque.

There are lots of misconceptions about Muslims. It would be good to have a centre so that there's somebody there to answer questions and give information about our religion.

By Balsum
Howida's daughter, Balsum, talks about growing up a Muslim in Wrexham

Even though I'm the only Muslim in my class at school I don't feel different to other pupils. They don't treat me differently though they know I'm a Muslim.

Being a Muslim is a very important part of my life. I like going to the Mosque and I'm fluent in Arabic. I have memorised parts of the Koran.

Sometimes I can't pray at the mosque at Glyndwr University because it's too full. People are getting put off coming to the mosque because it's so full.

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