"This is not just a building," said Dr. Siraj Siddiqui. "We wanted place for education, learning, religious tolerance a place for interfaith."
The Muslim Community is growing in the Louisville area. For years, Muslims here have been using a house on the same property as their place of worship.
"When we use to pray Friday when we started we squeeze in the basement and summer time on the deck," said Dr. Siddiqui. "We needed a bigger place." They broke ground on their new mosque in 2007. It's taken a long time and now it's nearly 90 percent complete.
"It's kind of similar to a lot of mosque in Damascus, Syria or India," said Muslim Community Center board member Dr. Ammar Almasalkhi.
From the archways, to the windows, it all reflects a touch of the Middle East. The carpet is from Turkey, the mosaic tile came from Morocco.
"The color the blue and green reflecting the sky and the land," said Almasalkhi. "The yellow reflecting the sun light all mixed together to greet us in the entrance."
A wall hanging in the entrance is from Pakistan. The tile throughout is made in America. The new Mosque is reminiscent of their old home, in a place they call their new home. Dr. Almasalkhi says the architect has an Irish background
and even visited Syria to learn about Islamic architecture. An open space off the entrance will serve as a prayer hall, there are accommodations for spiritual cleansing and an upstairs gallery which will also be used for prayer.
The basement, which is near completion, will be a dining area. The entire project cost around $5.4 million, all made possible by local donations and fundraisers. "It brings us closer to feeling like this is home," said Dr. Almasalkhi.
Leaders hope the new space invites others to learn more about their faith. "We want to reach out not only in the Muslim community, but to non-Muslims. We want to be part of Louisville," said Dr. Siddiqui.
The Mosque will be completed in about four weeks, just in time to begin the Islamic holy month of fasting.
The house that the Muslim community once used as a Mosque will be used as a food pantry and shelter for refugees. There is also an Islamic school adjacent to the mosque.