FENIX KOJI SE DIGAO IZ PEPELA U SVIJETLU BUDUĆNOST

IZNEVJERENO VEĆINSKO BIRAČKO TIJELO

Godina 2011. je bila jedna od najburnijih godina u stogodišnjem bivstvovanju Bošnjaka na prostoru Čikaga. Tada je na Generalnoj skupštini nakon nepoštivanja volje apsolutne većine biračkog tijela (82.5% članstva) da zadrži tadašnjeg imama, došlo do izdaje zajednice od strane Upravnog odbora Islamskog kulturnog centra (ICC). Iznevjereno većinsko biračko tijelo, mahom sastavljeno od mladih bračnih parova s djecom, bilo je prinuđeno tražiti novi dom gdje će moći nastaviti održavati svoj vjerski, kulturni i jezički identitet. Ubrzo je osnovan Američki islamski centar (AIC) koji će tokom nekoliko narednih godina održavati džematske aktivnosti u iznajmljenim prostorijama na nekoliko mjesta.

PODSTANARSKI ŽIVOT

Želja članova džemata za održavanjem i promoviranjem svog identiteta prijateljski je podržana najprije od Američkog islamskog koledža, zatim od vlasnika poslovne zgrade u Glenview, pa od odbora Islamskog društva sjevernozapadnih predgrađa Čikaga (ISNS) u Rolling Meadowsu, koji su ustupili na korištenje prostorije za održavanje mektepske nastave subotom tokom nekoliko narednih godina. Mektepska nastava, koja je uključivala i jezičko i kulturno obrazovanje, kao i obavljanje podne namaza, održavana je u ovom objektu sve do konačne kupovine i preuređenja sadašnjih prostorija džemata u Franklin Parku.

Neke od svojih aktivnosti, ključnih za njegovanje jedinstva džemata, teravih-namazi, Family Night, kao i nezaboravna donatorska večera 7. maja 2016. kada je skupljen iznos od 570,000 dolara za Centar u Franklin Parku, održavani su nekoliko godina u Turskom centru u Mount Prospectu.

DOBIJENA BITKA NA SUDU

Kao i svaki proces, i razvoj ovog džemata je imao prepreke, kao što je slučaj s nesuđenom kupovinom komercijalnog objekta u predgrađu Des Plaines 2013. god., koji je trebao biti preuređen u džamiju. Nakon odbijenice koju je izdala Mjesna uprava Des Plainesa o prenamjeni objekta, džemat je pokrenuo tužbu, koja je napokon urodila plodom 2017. god. kada je donesena odluka u korist džemata i kada je dobijen značajan iznos novca na ime odštete.

IMATI I NEMATI CENTAR NIJE ISTO

Konačno, 2016. god., pronađen je objekat tadašnje “Luteranske crkve uskrsnuća” na Grand aveniji u Franklin Parku koji je ubrzo kupljen (23. septembar) i uredno prijavljen kod opštinskih organa, kada je džemat i službeno dobio novo ime „Društvo američkih Bosanaca i Hercegovaca“ (SABAH). Članovi džemata su pregalački radili na uređenju objekta kako bi se prilagodio za održavanje namaza i ostale aktivnosti u najbržem mogućem roku tako da su pri kraju ljeta 2017. krenule razne vjerske i obrazovne aktivnosti za djecu i omladinu.

BOGATA PONUDA VJERSKIH, OBRAZOVNIH I KULTURNIH SADRŽAJA

SABAH nastavlja na izgradnji snažne zajednice s jakim osjećajem za porodicu, kao i duhovni i kulturni identitet nove generacije. Osim mesdžida, tj. prostora za vjerske aktivnosti, novi centar u Franklin Parku ima bogatu ponudu obrazovnih i kulturnih sadržaja i sekcija kao što su brojne učionice za djecu i omladinu, biblioteka, sala za predavanja, višenamjenska sala, zatim udruženje žena „Selam“, hor ilahija i kasida „Kerim“, folklorna grupa, omladinska grupa, odbor za međuvjersku suradnju itd. Višenamjenska dvorana Centra pruža prostor za sportske aktivnosti kao i razne kulturne i promotivne manifestacije. Pune djelatnosti džemata su mnogo šire i ogledaju se i u raznim međuvjerskim aktivnostima i u humanitarnom radu na području Čikaga za čije potrebe smo svesrdno ustupili kuću u nasem vlasništvu za distribiciju prikupljene hrane i odjeće socijalno ugroženim kategorijama.

Džemat trenutno radi i na preuređenju podrumskih prostorija radi otvaranja Omladinskog centra koji bi mlađoj generaciji pružio potreban prostor, zanimljive sadržaje, toplinu i motivaciju s ciljem da se duhovno razvija i oblikuje budućnost zajednice u skladu sa potrebama vremena.

Kao i Feniks koji se digao iz pepela, i SABAH se materijalno i duhovno uzdigao vođen mudrošću, skladom i vjerom u svijetlu budućnost.

Faruk Bogućanin

A Phoenix that Rose from the Ashes into the bright Future

2011 was one of the most turbulent times in the hundred years of Bosniak existence in Chicago. At the General Assembly session, the Islamic Culture Center Board of Directors failed to implement the will of the absolute majority of voters to keep the existing imam in office (82.5% of those who turned out). The betrayed constituency, mostly composed of young couples with children, was forced to seek a new home where they could continue to maintain their religious, cultural, and linguistic identity. Shortly thereafter, American Islamic Center was founded where religious activities were conducted over the next several years on rented premises in several different locations.

The determination of congregants to maintain and promote their identity was first supported by the American Islamic College, followed by an office space owner in Glenview, and, finally by the Board of the Islamic Society of Northwestern Suburbs of Chicago (ISNS) in Rolling Meadows, who made their premises available for Saturday school program for the next several years. Religious education, language and culture courseware, and noon prayers were held in this facility until the final purchase and renovation of the current premises of the congregation in Franklin Park.

Some of the key activities which were critical to preserve the unity of the congregation were held for a number of years at the Turkish American Society of Chicago in Mount Prospect. They included Taraweeh prayers, Family Nights, as well as the unforgettable Dinner Fundraiser on May 7, 2016, at which $570,000 was collected for the facility in Franklin Park.

Just like any other endeavor, the development of this congregation has faced challenges including an unsuccessful attempt at purchasing the comercial facility in Des Plaines in 2013, which was planned to be converted to a mosque. Following a denial of the Village to allow rezoning of the facility, the congregation filed a complaint which was ultimately resolved in 2017 when a settlement was reached in favor of the congregation that received significant compensatory damages.

Finally, a facility that belonged to the Resurrection Lutheran Church on Grand Avenue in Franklin Park was found in 2016. It was swiftly purchased followed by the appropriate filings with the Village administration, including the change of the congregation’s official name to Society of Bosnian Americans and Herzegovinians (SABAH). Congregation members worked tirelessly on renovating the facility to adapt it for prayers and other activities in the fastest time possible. This initial work was finished in 2017, and a number of religious and educational activities for children and youth commenced in late summer.

SABAH continues to nurture a strong community with a strong emphasis on the family, spiritual and cultural identity of the new generation. In addition to the space for religious activities, the new center in Franklin Park offers rich educational and cultural content and sections including numerous classrooms for children and youth, library, lecture hall, multi-purpose room, women’s association “Selam”, Muslim choir Kerim, folk dance performance group, youth group, interreligious outreach committee, etc. The center’s multipurpose room offers the space for recreational activities, various cultural and promotional programs. A complete scope of congregation’s activities is much broader and it also reflects a variety of interreligious and humanitarian efforts in Chicagoland for which the congregation has assigned an adjacent house providing distribution of collected food and clothing to the socially vulnerable groups.

The congregation is currently renovating the basement area which is to become a Youth Center that will offer the younger generation functional space, interesting content, warmth, and motivation for their spiritual development and for shaping the future of the community aligned with the needs of the time.

Just like a phoenix that rose from the ashes, SABAH has risen materially and spiritually guided by wisdom, harmony, and faith in the bright future.

Faruk Bogućanin

Edited by Senad Agić

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