News / Halifax

Sharing the love: Local mosque hosting Valentine's Day open house

'Love is Beautiful' event expected to bring broader community together for food, art and open dialogue

People visit the Ummah Mosque and Community Centre during a previous open house in Halifax.

Jeff Harper/Metro

People visit the Ummah Mosque and Community Centre during a previous open house in Halifax.

A Halifax mosque is hoping to help share some love this Valentine’s Day.

Ummah Mosque is hosting a day-long open house they’re calling, Love is Beautiful. The event will include food, an art exhibit, discussions, as well as a lecture and centres around the themes of peace and love.

“With Valentine’s Day being a well-known day for sharing the love, we just hoped to give our perspective on it and make use of that,” Bridget McEwan, one of the event organizers and a member of the mosque, said Thursday.

“We will have a speech from the imam at the Ummah Mosque and he’ll be discussing the theme of the event, which is love and peace and how it relates to our beliefs within Islam.”

The mosque has hosted open houses in the past, but organizers thought Valentine’s Day would be an ideal time to welcome the community into their space. 

“I liked that it is not restricted to romance and there are so many dimensions to the topic beyond what we think of when we think of Valentine’s Day,” she said. 

“It’s a message of hope. It’s a holistic message and it covers all kinds of things.”

Guests will be available to chat with visitors about a variety of topics, including hijabs and supporting Syrian refugees. A local Syrian refugee is expected to visit the mosque to speak about their own personal experience.

“One of the things we’re trying to go beyond is that the love that we’re speaking about is not just restricted to romance, it’s not just the love you that you think of when you usually think of Valentine’s Day,” McEwan said.

“It’s something much bigger and something that’s important, we think, to try and spread in the world today in general. It’s something that’s needed.”

McEwan converted to Islam four years ago and said many people don’t realize how multicultural Muslims are.

“There’s a massive amount of languages and backgrounds and cultures and places of origin for the people in our Muslim community,” she said. 

“There’s always something to learn.”

The Love is Beautiful Valentine's Day event runs from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Ummah Mosque, 2510 St. Matthias St. in Halifax. More information is available on the event's Facebook page.