Islamic school opens after years of planning


October 02, 2001|By Debra Taylor Young | Debra Taylor Young,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

FOR MORE THAN 10 years, Musa Asad dreamed of opening a small Islamic school - like the one he attended as a boy - where academics, faith and strong values would be taught.

About a year ago, Asad gained the support he needed from six families and began the lengthy process of creating such a school. The goal was to make it accessible to families in Howard, Frederick, Montgomery and Prince George's counties, and Baltimore City.

Working with real estate agents, Asad "stumbled" upon the Greenberg property - formerly used as a day care center - at 7543 Main St., Sykesville. With town police, local government buildings and recreational and cultural facilities nearby, Asad felt he had found the perfect location.

Aleem Academy opened Sept. 17. Its curriculum includes reading, language, math, science, social studies, art, and Quranic and Islamic studies. The underlying philosophy of the academy is that children succeed with a foundation of academics, faith and strong values.

Asad, who lives in Howard County and attends a mosque in Silver Spring, drew from a pool of talent in his religious community to staff the new school. Hanaa Malik is the academy's pre-kindergarten/kindergarten teacher. Munazza Bashir teaches grades one through three. Both have appropriate degrees and certifications, as do several assistants and volunteer teachers. The academy's curriculum is modeled after that used by Montessori schools, Asad said.

Each school day begins with the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a recitation from the Quran. According to Asad, prayers are offered five times a day. The prayer room, in the back of the school, contains a green rug depicting the Kaaba, the sacred Muslim shrine at Mecca. The rug faces the direction of the Kaaba.

"All Muslims around the world face the direction of the Kaaba when praying," said Asad.

Although the academy accommodates the interests of Muslim families, children from other religious backgrounds are welcome.

Information: 410-795-5375.

Raising teens

A workshop about raising teen-agers will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 10 at Oklahoma Road Middle School in Eldersburg.

Gary Honeman and Susan Hennerman White, family therapists and educators at Carroll County Youth Service Bureau, will present the two-hour seminar.

Parents will learn skills to build positive relationships with their teens, avoid power struggles, set limits and encourage responsibility, among other topics. Normal adolescent behavior will be discussed, as well as behaviors that should cause concern.

The cost is $12 or $18 for any two people who register together. Pre-registration is required.

Information: the school's guidance office, 410-751-3600.

Bass Fishing Tournament

Piney Run Park will hold its annual Bass Fishing Tournament from 6 p.m. to midnight Friday.

Cash prizes include: first-place largemouth bass, $100 and a trophy; second place, $75; and third place, $50.

Anglers may enter the park during normal hours but must register and pay for the program before dusk, when the park closes.

The cost is the standard park entry fee - $4 for a vehicle from Carroll, $5 for a vehicle from elsewhere - plus $10 per angler. Maryland fishing and boating regulations apply and will be enforced.

Information: 410-795-3274.

Debra Taylor Young's Southeast neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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