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Marking Ramadan on Buffalo's West Side

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Mike Desmond/wbfo news
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For Muslims, this is the month of Ramadan, a time of religious fasting. The observance continues in a mosque on Buffalo's West Side, offering a look at the city's evolving cultural mix.

Masjid Aleiman is in what was once a neighborhood theater on Connecticut street but the designs on the front and the side of the structure show its ties to Islam. Imam Ishmael Ayyash says there are so many participating in religious events in the building, it's being expanded. He says members are from across the globe, a shifting population representing immigrant America.

"They feel they're country's here. Why? Because: What's your country? Your country is that which welcomes you," Imam Ayyash said.

He provides religious guidance to the hundreds of families who belong to the mosque. He also resolves disputes, whether inside families or in businesses.

Another part of his duties is working with families to teach children about their faith in a secular society.

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Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news
A former theater on Connecticut Street has been converted into a mosque for Muslims on Buffalo's West Side.

"You tell them about the religion and about the culture and you send them to the school and you tell them, okay, this is what you can do and this is what you cannot do," Imam Ayyash said

"You educate them in the good way, they will listen."