WASHINGTON, DC – On Friday, May 1, The Georgetown University School of Medicine celebrated the official blessing and opening of its new 24-hour dedicated Muslim prayer space. The prayer room is located in the Pre-Clinical Science Building (D corridor), room LD-10A.
After multiple students came forward expressing desire for a private place of prayer on campus, Deborah Bassard, Director of Human Resources at the School of Medicine, was inspired to pursue this project. A team including Bassard, Imam Yahya Hendi—the Muslim Chaplain at Georgetown—and members from the School of Medicine and Office of Planning and Facilities Management began discussions on the proposed prayer room in September 2014. Originally, the space that was converted into the new prayer room was used as a storage closet. The subsequent renovations included the incorporation of a deliberate color scheme in the interior paint job.
Imam Yahya Hendi describes the sky blue ceiling in the room as a symbol of the limitless nature of God. In contrast, the pale green walls and deep green carpet represent the earthly nature of existence. As Imam Yahya Hendi quoted from Genesis in his remarks, “From dust we came and to dust we shall return.” Together, the colors of the prayer room symbolize both God’s infiniteness and human earthliness.
After opening remarks and a recitation from the Qur’an by a Georgetown pre-med student, Imam Yahya Hendi concluded the blessing of the room with a prayer.
“This new space is a great step toward building an overall inclusive, welcoming environment for all faith traditions on campus. At the same time, I think it’s also great for encouraging students within the Muslim community itself to be more active with their faith,” said Zahid Syed, President of the Georgetown University Muslim Students Association.
Shannon Chai, COL ’18