Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Distance from Moncton: 165 KM (approximately 2 hours)
Distance from Halifax: 326 KM (approximately 4 hours)
Charlottetown, Canada’s Birthplace, is the capital of Prince Edward Island. The Island is one of four Atlantic provinces located on Canada's east coast. The rich culture and heritage offer much to be seen and explored and hospitality sets PEI apart. The green pastoral landscape and water views make the Island way of life unique. It also allow them to produce some of the tastiest food experiences found globally. The miles of sandy beaches are some of the best in the world.
Because of its irregular shape and many bays and inlets, Prince Edward Island has a long coastline. One wonderful option for exploring the jagged coastline and charming communities is to follow the three coastal drives.
North Cape Coastal Drive - Brimming with Mi’kmaq culture, Acadian heritage, and museums devoted to potatoes, silver foxes, and shipbuilding. You’ll find the Wind Energy Interpretive Centre, the College of Piping, and houses made of glass bottles. You can sleep in a lighthouse!
Central Coastal Drive - Fun-filled Cavendish (home of Anne of Green Gables, Avonlea and Cavendish Beach) and so much more: spectacular views along Route 20, the classic fishing port at Scenic Drives Rustico Harbour, shops and dining at Gateway Village at the foot of the Confederation Bridge and quaint Victoria-by-the-Sea.
Points East Coastal Drive - Don’t miss the rare dune system at Greenwich or the bayside community of St. Peters. This is the land of breathtaking beaches, lively ceilidhs and lighthouses. Watch for eagles and seals, and if you can fit it in–scenic Montague, Orwell Corner Historic Village.
For more information about PEI and to learn more about the Muslim community, please click the above links.
Muslim Society of Prince Edward Island
Muslim Society of Prince Edward Island
15 MacAleer Drive, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island C1E 2A1
President: Dr. Najam Chishti
Centre: (902) 367-3659
Muslims came to Prince Edward Island in the 1970's. Zain Esseghaier, a teacher origianlly from Tunisia, came to Charlottetown in the late 1970s. He was a Charlottetown resident, married an islander and raised a family in PEI. Dr. Najam Chishti, a chemist (now retired), native of Pakistan, has lived in Charlottetown since 1979. He and his wife, Farida Chishti, have raised three children here.
The Muslim Society was established in 1990 to meet the needs of the Muslim community of Prince Edward Island. Dr. Chishti is currently the President. Before having their own mosque, they would worship wherever they could find the space, from a temporary basement Mosque to gymnasiums to university classrooms.
Building the mosque was a way of retaining the province’s Muslim population. The Community comes from various backgrounds including doctors, lawyers, engineers, academics, etc. Some of the members have come to PEI for academia whether to attend the University of PEI as a student or to teach. Members of the community have been dreaming of a place of their own for the last few years.
In 2008, The Society set about finally acquiring its own place of worship. A cross-country fundraising campaign raised about $500,000, enough to purchase a plot of land in an industrial park and built Masjid Dar As-Salam mosque. The Mosque was opened in July 2012, informally referred to as the "Little Mosque on the Island". There are approximately 250 to 300 Muslim families in PEI most of whom live in Charlottetown and pray together.
The community is very involved with the PEI community including interfaith, community outreach and social organizations. For example, Farida Chishti, Dr. Chishti's wife, is a long time community volunteer for many organizations including (but not limited to):
The Multicutural Council of PEi,
Girl Guides of PEI,
Canadian Parents for French,
Canadian Council of Muslim Women,
PEI Table Tennis Association
Board member of the Asian Heritage Society of PEI
Campaigner for the Alzheirmer Society of PEI
When future Muslims look back at the Muslim community in PEI I want them to remember the name Farida Chishti. In my opinion she is the mother of the community. Combine the friendliness of an East Coast Canadian, the diplomacy of a diplomat and the sweetness and love of a mother and you have Farida Chishti.
I had the honour of being invited to the Chishti residence for dinner after I met with Dr. Najam Chishti. Dr. Chishti had to leave dinner early as he was off to coach table tennis players (Dr. Chishti is a die-hard table tennis player - as an international umpire he officiates at world and international tournaments sanctioned by the International Table Tennis Federation) but insisted I stay and finish dinner...