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University Opens New Quarter of a Million Pound Islamic Prayer Hall

More than 1500 Muslim students at the University of Warwick are celebrating the opening of a new dedicated on-campus prayer hall.

The new hall, which includes space for a 160 people to pray at any one time, will be opened on Saturday 4 March by students and staff, who will be joined by a number of representatives from the embassies of Islamic countries.

The university's Muslim community themselves raised part of the cost of the new ?260,000 prayer hall which has been sited in the recently refurbished "Coventry House" immediately adjacent to the chaplaincy which serves a number of other faith groups on the campus.

Warwick student Farzana Ahmed, who is studying for a Masters in International Taxation, coordinated the fundraising efforts said: "We now have a wonderful complex of facilities that will promote unity amongst all the major faiths on campus - the addition of the Prayer Hall means Warwick now has the largest multi-faith centre of any university in the country.

The opening ceremony will start on Friday night with special community prayers to bless the new hall. The ceremony - Zikr Night - includes the recitation of the 99 names of God and the playing of traditional instruments.

A number of representatives from the embassies of Islamic countries will then join the Islamic students and staff for a formal opening on Saturday 4th March. Press are invited to that event at 12 midday at Coventry House (the old Senate House building) on the University of Warwick' main campus. There will also be an opportunity to film the call to prayer and students and staff praying in the new facility at 1pm that day.

Warwick's Vice-Chancellor Professor David VandeLinde said: "We are very pleased to have been able to support the establishment of the Prayer Hall. Warwick is an international community with students and staff from over 100 different countries we are delighted to be able to provide these key facilities for this significant part of the campus community."

For further information please contact:

Farzana Ahmed on 07976 593 703

Peter Dunn,Communications Office, University House
University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 8UW
024 7652 3708

PR17 2nd March 2006