The newly constructed Musallah complex was inaugurated on Monday 5 August 2019 at the University of Sydney with integrated prayer halls and ablution facilities for males and females together well equipped kitchen facilities and easy direct access.
The inauguration event for the Musallah, organised by Sydney University Muslim Students’ Association SUMSA that manages it was held after Zuhr prayers attended by students, staff, alumni and university officials.
Those present were welcomed by the President of SUMSA, Mr Murad Rafik and addressed by Professor Zu’bi Al-Zu’bi who has been instrumental in securing funding for the Musallah and Mr Zia Ahmad, one of the founders of SUMSA back in 1972.
Mr Zia Ahmad during his address gave brief account of the history of efforts to establish Musallah at the University of Sydney over the last 45 years and how SUMSA has grown from an association of 5 people, now with more than 1000 people attending Juma congregational prayers on Fridays at the campus.
The new Musallah facility in the Darlington Campus has been made available by the University of Sydney immediately after the closure of the old Musallah in Old Teachers College in the main campus with the help of funding provided by the Shoman family of Jordan.
Professor Zu’bi Al-Zu’bi during his address talked about the events leading up to the construction of the Musallah.
“The Shoman family, Ramzi Khleif , Hamza and Shereen, have asked me to speak on their behalf today, as they extend their apologies for not being able to join you today.
When I first talked to Ramzi Khleif and Hamza about the needs for better facilities for Muslim students and staff at the University of Sydney, they were immediately keen to help, and was very thankful to the University for giving the opportunity to contribute to the Muslim community in memory of Ramzi’s wife and Hamza’s late parents.
It is fitting at this moment to mention some information about Samar and Ahmad. Ahmad Shoman was a well-known businessman in Jordan, who came from a very well-established business family. He died from cancer in 2006, leaving his wife Samar, and two children, Hamza and Shereen. He is remembered throughout Jordan and Palestine for all the philanthropic work that he carried out, and that continues to this day. Samar, Ahmad’s wife, took on the burden of running the business and raising the children after his death.Along with Ramzi her 2nd husband, she took the Shoman and Khleif family business into new heights. She passed away in 2018, but her legacy of charity continued with Ramzi, Hamza and Shereen.
This prayer room not only represents a place where Muslims can come together to freely practice their beliefs in a safe environment, but it is an opportunity for the Muslim community to share their faith with others.
On behalf of Ramzi, Hamza and Shereen, I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the Vice Chancellor and the Alumni and Development Office, particularly Tim Dolan, Rossie Ogilvie and Flora Grant, for their assistance in this project and in setting up today’s wonderful event. Ramzi also asked me to convey a special word of gratitude to SUMSA for their amazing work in advocating for the Muslim community at the University.
So just to finish off, I am honoured to represent the Shoman family here today. They are indeed a wonderful example of social responsibility and commitment to their faith and to the community. We hope that this just the beginning of an ongoing relationship between the Shoman family and the University of Sydney.”