Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Peninsula Muslim Association

Date visited: August 15, 2010

Location: Mountain View, CA
805 W El Camino Real
Mountain View, CA 94040

Number of imams: 1

Size of congregation: TINY. Maybe 15 people showed up.

Capacity of center: The prayer area was more than sufficient for that tiny congregation

Parking: A bitch. It's located on El Camino Real, which means you're relegated to finding street parking on one of the busiest commercial streets in the Bay Area.

Mihrab: Ha, nope.

Minbar: Nope!

Shoe shelves: NOPE. Had to ditch my shoes at the entrance.

Building: It's a rug store, no joke. Plenty of people walking by on El Camino were giving us strange looks, probably wondering what the hell those terrorists were doing in a closed business.

Friendliness towards women: There was one woman in attendance, and unlike Saratoga, where there were no barriers, she was forced to pray behind a barrier. I didn't even see her till I was leaving.

Friendliness of congregation: Very. It's so small they can't be rude.

Please tell me if there's any categories on which you'd like me to report.

I think was my favorite taraweeh to date. I don't even know how people would find it before the magic of the interwebs because of its unique location. When I first saw that it was being held in "The Rug Store" I didn't know what to expect.

When I got there, the first thing I saw was the strip of land on which the rug store is located is for sale. Blame the bad economy, but the point is, there's a chance that the PMA will have to find a new location for its taraweeh. Too bad, too, because it was AWESOME.

I had no idea of what to do once I got there. All the other businesses were closed, even the Peet's, so I could do nothing except wait outside the store. Eventually, someone showed up at 9:35, the first clue which lead me to believe that the crowd here would pale in comparison to all the other crowds I'd seen.

I was correct, maybe ten people showed up at the start of the prayer and at its peak 15 people were present. However, it was such an intimate setting I couldn't help but to enjoy myself. It was almost like being transported back in time; this is what taraweeh in the Bay Area probably looked like in the 1970s.

I did again get asked what I was doing there, but not because they recognized me for who I was; they only had to hear that I was from Santa Clara to query me. I only appreciate MCA more when I'm away with it; I never truly appreciate how large that community is till I see tiny congregations like the one I saw in Mountain View.

No tag-teaming here, but I was kind of surprised to see that the guy leading the prayer was recording himself on camera. Why? Did he think his technique could get better by looking at video of himself?

There was one woman there, an 80-year-old grandma, and they made her pray behind a thick wooden barrier. Come on, guys, is that really necessary? One reason why some women in MCA advocated for a permanent barrier was so they could breastfeed their children if need be. Trust me, I don't think any woman's going to want to breastfeed her child in the rug store.

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