30 Mosques in 30 Days: An American Trip
Day 1: Manhattan
On Aug. 12, 2010, the day before the start of Ramadan, Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq, a comedian and an advertising copywriter, embarked on a 30-day road trip across America, with the goal of visiting 30 mosques in 30 states. "We wanted to test the broad definition of America that people are willing to accept," says Bassam. They started their journey at Park51, the controversial mosque near Ground Zero in New York City, about which Aman wrote, "It's actually a space that Muslims have been using for quite a few months now. I expected to feel some kind of transformation, praying inside the place garnering so much controversy, but all it felt like was praying in a mosque. To me, it was like any other mosque in America sound system that barely works, shady bathroom facilities and industrial fans that blow nothing but hot air because the air-conditioning doesn't work."
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