In what’s considered as a breakthrough for Islamic education in Philadelphia, a Muslim couple have opened the first all-girl private Muslim school in the state, teaching students critical thinking skills and instilling passion for innovation.
The new Khadijah Bint Khuwalid Islamic STEM Academy for Girls opened its classes on Monday, September 5.
“I really like going here,” 11-year-old Nahiyyah Brown told CBS News.
The brainchild of Yasser Abdurrahman and his wife Marquita Hammock aims to cater to the needs of their community.
“So they can have a place where they have people that look like them, see people who look like them, teachers look like them, classmates look like them,” assistant superintendent Marquita Hammock said.
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Feeling not many schools adhered to Islamic traditions and disciplines, the couple hope their school would create a safe and nurturing environment for young students.
“We are hoping when these children leave here that they leave in a much better situation than they came in,” Yasser said.
With immigration from the Middle East, the Horn of Africa, Pakistan, Bangladesh and India, Islam has seen a huge growth in Philadelphia.
The largest concentrations of Muslims live in the Northeast and North parts of the city, Center City, West Philadelphia, and sprawling into the nearby suburbs.
According to several statistics, Philadelphia has surpassed Detroit and New York City to become the American metropolitan area with the highest proportion of Muslims.