Houston Islamic Library Opens to Public

HOUSTON – As part of a larger goal to offer a comprehensive educational resource to Houston residents, the Library of Islamic Knowledge has open its doors to public, to serve the public regardless of their faith.

“The center is dedicated to the history, culture and public education of Islam,” said Ameer Abuhalimeh, Islamic Da’wah Center executive director, Chron.com reported.

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“Our goal isn’t just to promote a balanced perspective of Islam, but also to serve downtown Houston and the community at-large.”

The library, located in the third floor of Da`wah center, was inaugurated in an event attended by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and basketball international player Hakeem Olajuwon.

“Houston is a highly diverse city, and this facility speaks to that diversity,” Turner said.

“This is a place not just for Muslims, but everyone. It opens the door for people of all faiths to learn about a different part of the Houston community.”

Abuhalimeh said the library, which cost around $2.5 million, also fosters the center’s mission to become more educational in nature.

Though some shelves remains empty, Abuhalimeh expects the library to feature 25,000 books with a digital offering upward of 100,000 titles.

By that time, he also anticipates the center’s Museum of Islamic Art will be complete.

Formerly Houston National Bank, the building was restored and renovated to house the Islamic Da’wah Center in the late 1990s, after Olajuwon acquired the property in 1994.

The center officially opened in 2002 as a three-story facility that includes its main prayer hall on the first floor in addition to meeting rooms, classrooms, offices and a kitchen.

“The opening of this library came as the demand for a library did,” Olajuwon said.

“It creates a space for learning and knowledge, so the library and the museum help complete the educational mission of the institution.”

“It shows leadership to embrace other nationalities, religions and cultures,” Olajuwon said. “Bringing unity is something that needs to be reinforced.”