The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts on May 13, 2004 · 211
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The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts · 211

Boston, Massachusetts
Issue Date:
Thursday, May 13, 2004
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THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2004 xntDOSTONULOBE uione Nortnwest Jb We re going to be out there nearly 24 hours a day.' Matt Watkjns, Contractor Wrap up of Rte. 3 widening delayed ROUTE 3 Ctinued from Page 1 project. In 1999, the state hired Modern as its main contractor on the job. Modern said the job could be completed in 42 months, because the efficient designbuild concept allows one phase of a job to be designed, while another phase is being built. If the job had been done the more traditional way designing the entire project, and then building it it could have taken nine years to complete, a state Highway Department spokesman has said in the past. The contract that Modern and the state signed allowed the state to imposed penalties if the timelines were not met. Late last fall, Modern announced it would have the 21-mile highway open to commuters by Feb. 17. Then a few months ago, company officials said that due to a harsh winter, they would not have three lanes fully paved until May 30. Now, Modern Continental spokesman Matt Watkins said heavy rains in April caused the ' most recent delay. He said that from now until mid-June, the construction com- pany will be working seven days a week to get the job done. "We're going to be out there nearly 24 hours a day, with 200 to 250 workers in the field," Watkins said. As a result, commuters should be alert to the heavy-duty work schedule, and the numerous de-" tours, lane shifts, and road clos-. ings that will accompany the ; schedule. r The company plans to begin ; pouring the final layer of pavement on May 21. ' By June 15, Watkins said, the job ought to be substantially complete. "The 15th is assuming prop-, er weather conditions . . . our target is to deliver three travel lanes by mid-June," Watkins said. When the paving is complete, "motorists will be enjoying the benefits of a wider highway" with greatly minimized traffic impacts, he said. From June until the end of October, work crews will be finishing side jobs on the highway, which stretches from Route 128 in Lexington and Burlington to the New Hampshire border. Those side jobs include erecting signs, installing guardrails, and completing work on the many lo-; cal roads that feed into Route 3 North, he said. Christine McConville's e-mail is n, " r , T1 t- ''" -r--,l- .... I'"""-' '' O X - ? I ' yx . 'H ,jt Imbim J. .jfciwwiWMiwii " ' . in in i mi fcmiitrm nwnl A. - msummmmmfinM 1 r id'" 1 JJ GLOBE STAFF PHOTOSJOANNE RATHE Clockwise from above left, fifth-grader Maleeha Shaikh answers a math question; ; second-graders Razin Shaikh (left) and Shannon Abdallah discuss a book; Maleeha Shaikh, 1 Yasmeen Aldabagh (looking left) and Zeina Jabri sit in a computer class taught by Sheher Bano Chishti (far right.) L Parents seek building to open Islamic school '5.1 ISLAM Continued from Page 1 The Malik Academy named after a cleric who established a major school of Islamic jurisprudence is intended for children from preschool to Grade 6. Though hopes are fading for a September opening, the story of how these three Muslim mothers forged the idea to start a school near Boston, where thousands of Muslims reside, speaks to how their religious community is growing beyond its initial core of Arabic-speakers, immigrant parents, and college students passing through the area. Beyond that, their effort also illustrates how developing American-Islamic education for children is being more clearly defined nationwide. Muslim educators point to a noticeable interest for these schools, but acknowledge that teachers and administrators of the faith are difficult to find. "The emphasis of the first generation was to have their children become doctors, lawyers and accountants," said Muhammad Eissa, a scholar of Arabic and Islamic studies, who is part of a Georgetown University task force that is drafting a national standard for Arabic learning in Islamic schools. But with more young Muslims drawn toward a spectrum of professions, more people "are dedicating their careers to teaching in Islamic schools," said Eissa. There are eight Islamic schools across the state, including Al-Noor Academy, a high school that opened last year in Mansfield. The Islamic School for Peace opened in this area, in Methuen, in September 2001. The K-5 school has 1 15 pupils, most of whom were born in this country. Their parents are from Morocco, India, Pakistan, Egypt, and the United States. They are cab drivers, doctors, and software engineers, and the vast majority live outside Methuen. Some attend mosques in Boston, others in Burlington. Of the school's 15 teachers, six are American Muslim women, including principal Susan Wheel- ( Camp, School & Adventure Q1) DIRECTORY Merrimack College Girls Lacrosse Camp N. Andover, MA July 18-23 Co-ed July 18-23 n. . p. ,. . Girls Week lulv 25-30 Girls Field Hockey uins weeK, juiy n w Ju,y CT Da,.H?" SfST Dana HaU Sch001 SCHOOL 1 GMs Team Week AuSl 8-13 Qra ,"3 Every weekday by 6am! 1-888-205-2018 Che Boston dMobe Your world, unfolding dally' CAMP, SCHOOL & ADVENTURE DIRECTORY T For advertising information caU Barbara Miller 677-929-2199 er. Eleven of the teachers are parents with children in the school. It is a sparsely furnished facility that occupies a former public school building. There are no religious symbols outside, and each classroom has a large carpet and pictures of mosques or religious Arabic writing. Tuition is a little over $3,000 a year, which is roughly equal to what is charged by Islamic schools around the country, according to several Muslim educators. In the mornings, boy and girls stand in separate lines in one of the hallways, wearing plain blue uniforms that parents find in stores like Marshalls. Some of the older girls wear hijabs, or head scarves. The children recite a verse from the Koran, listen to its explanation, and later sing songs with familiar tunes about being Muslim or simply about having fun. "Like any other school" said Wheeler, "we want to instill a love of learning that is not just limited to textbooks, but is a lifelong process." She said the school is based on "the values that our faith instills" and tries to graduate "well-rounded individuals that pour forth back into the community." That is the atmosphere Abo-Zena, Tobias-Nahi, and Borg-mann-Traiba hope to create at their school. All three consider private school educations and speaking a second language advantages worth sacrificing for. But they agree that making sure their children have a strong Muslim identity is the priority. And so each has done that in her own way. Abo-Zena, the former principal of the Islamic Academy of New England in Sharon, has started teaching her 18-month-old twins words from the Koran, as tradition calls for. She is expecting her third child in September and left her job to care for her twins, but would act as curriculum adviser at the new school. Tobias-Nahi has taught her two children her native French, and spends Saturdays at the Arabic school program in Chelsea, where her son is learning Arabic and verses of the Koran. Borgmann-Traiba, who lives in Somerville, works nights as a pediatrician in Weymouth so that she can be with her daughters during the day. Her eldest is learning Arabic at the Sharon school. She is now considering enrolling that daughter in charter schools in Somerville, or at the Methuen Islamic school, to cut down on the commute. But her daughter would like to stay where she is. The transition to public school might be traumatic, and if that happens, Borgmann-Traiba said she would transfer her back to the Sharon school and eventually move closer to that school. "I just try to block out my guilt," Borgmann-Traiba said of her daughters' arrival home at 4:30 to 5 p.m. from Sharon every day. "I can't do it anymore. I want her to feel that she is part of something. There are other ways for her to play a part of the larger community." Tobias-Nahi considered those issues so much that she decided to earn a second master's degree, even while working part time at the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University and raising her two children. She intends to use that second degree, in education, to teach at the new Islamic school. As part of her job, Tobias-Nahi said she is finding that public schools are failing minority children, honors classes are not offered in every school district, and those districts could benefit from better-trained teachers. In a college textbook she wrote about Muslim K-12 schools in America, she discussed how the Sharon school reacted after Sept 1 1 , when hostility toward Muslims surged. Some schools had been targeted for attacks, including the Methuen school, where a school vehicle was burned. The school had opened just a day before the attacks, and Wheeler had to tell parents to take their children home for two days. In response, Tobias-Nahi said, the Islamic schools became less insular and reached out to other schools and their communities. Parents are now less concerned about the physical safely of their children, and more about their psychological development. Sending them to Islamic schools may "cocoon" the children, but that does not equal isolation from the rest of the world, she said. Abo-Zena is an Egyptian-American who moved from Iowa as a Harvard undergraduate and never left. Growing up as the only Muslim in her classes, she felt uncomfortable and did not have the conviction about covering her hair, and memories like that prompt her belief that children should be able to attend schools where they feel ordinary. "There are a variety of different reasons, some strictly practical," as to why she has embarked on establishing the school, Abo-Zena said. "I think a lot of kids in school just growing up feel a lot of peer pressure. They feel like they don't belong, but I think especially for Muslim kids or any child who could be considered a minority, sometimes mainstream education isn't the best place ... there is a lot of pressure to assimilate. And to. 1 develop identity as a Muslim, ifs ; helpful to have an atmosphere f l where they are not always the other." ,1; Angelica Medaglia can be reached w in Vouv HsrsBB V iUiiuiiciuai-giauc performance for only Sa yarn 99 Choose the brand most trusted by the Pros for your yard cleanup projects. The Echo GT-200R Grass Trimmer features: h30" technology reduces starting effort by 30 percent Rapid-Loader" trimmer head makes line changes "lightning fast" Certified to highest level of useful life Two-year product warranty Ask Any Prof Available at your local Echo dealer BILLERICA O'Connor Hardware ...663-3520 MAYNARD5' Powder Mill Equipment .897-7882 SMOLAK FARMS NORTH ANDOVER, MA ANNOUNCES A NEW FLAVOR FOR THE FARM! "S'MO LICKS" ICE CREAM STAND (selling Richard's ice cream) NQWOPEN 7 DAYS -11:30am -9:00pm GRAND OPENING CELEBRATION Saturday, May 16th 10-4 Check our web site for more info. ' FARM STAND OPEN -7 DAYS - 7AM - 5PM 315 SOUTH BRADFORD ST. ! NORTH ANDOVER, MA (978) 682-6332 Farm Stand & Bakery (978) 687-4029 Tours & Activities & Functions l AIGO I Mediterranean Provencal Cuisine ff t'l" 84Thoreau Street, Concord, MA -Tel: 978.371.1 333 r : I J. David j BAINBRIDGE'S RESTAURANT Comedy Night Upstairs at Bainbridge 's Friday May 21th 2004 10pm Admission: $12 in advance $15 at the show Doors open at 8pm Featuring i I D. Kelly j John David Danny Kelly, f Brian Toland, John Polli Hosted by Jeff Clough 'fjligh marks for a' unique building & mrrrr creatively preskhled'A delicious food. j iy-- v . w oilon lobr B. Toland mm t til. Open for Lunch & Dinner 75 Princeton St, North Chelmsford, MA tel: 978.251.8670 'Afax: 978.251.0979 J. Clottgh IS NW2

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