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Book Launch: “Beyond the Divide - A Century of Canadian Mosque Design”

Director of the McEwen School of Architecture, Dr. Tammy Gaber, celebrates release of the first comprehensive study of mosque history and architecture in Canada.

(March 17, 2022) - Today and on March 17, 2022 at 6:30pm, the McEwen School of Architecture will host a hybrid event to celebrate the launch of Dr. Tammy Gaber’s book: “Beyond the Divide: A Century of Canadian Mosque Design.” Beyond the Divide explores the mosques of Canada in their diversity, beauty, practicality, and versatility. For nearly a century, Muslims have made mosques in a variety of spaces, from converted shops and vacated churches to large, purpose-built complexes. The study includes on-site photographs, architectural drawings, and interviews. Dr. Gaber explores the extraordinary diversity as to how mosque spaces have been designed, built, and used – as places not only of worship, but of community gathering, education, charitable work, and civic engagement. Throughout, Beyond the Divide provides a groundbreaking analysis of gendered space in Canadian mosques, how these spaces are designed and reinforced, and how these divides shape community experience.

“The research for this book began in 2015, with the support of a SSHRC Insight Development Grant,” explained Dr. Gaber. “Between 2015 and 2017, I travelled to 53 different cities across Canada to document 90 mosques, including those in Canada’s most northern places of worship in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.” 

In 2017, an exhibit of photographs from Dr. Gaber’s research demonstrated preliminary findings. This exhibit was curated in partnership with the Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW) and was hosted in Toronto. Following this and in early 2021 with McGill-Queen’s press, Dr. Gaber submitted another SSHRC grant application. “I was successful obtaining a SSHRC ASP which allowed for the subvention of the book so that it could be published fully in colour.” The result produced a stunning publication; the first comprehensive study of mosque history and architecture in Canada. 

Dr. Gaber’s book launch will be hosted at the McEwen School of Architecture library. Copies of Beyond the Divide will be available for purchase, and Dr. Gaber will be present to talk about the book and her work. While a few people will be in attendance, all are invited to attend the live streaming of March 17th’s event, at 6:30pm, via Zoom