Source: Jewish Journal
With Wal-Mart attracting a huge number of minority religious groups to Arkansas, it is not surprising that Fayetteville is becoming increasingly diverse.
And while this ongoing change is felt in many ways, the most distinct may be the recent push by Temple Shalom to build the first synagogue in the history of the city, and the fact that the pro bono builder is a Muslim.
Fadil Bayyari, a Palestinian and a general contractor in Springdale, Ark., has already built two churches and the first mosque in Fayetteville. Now he's donating his time to help Temple Shalom complete its first building, waiving the contractor fees customarily associated with most building projects. He heard about the synagogue plan through his participation with the Rotary Club.
"I was born and raised in the West Bank," said Bayyari. "I've been in the U.S. for 36 years and northwest Arkansas for 27.... I respect other peoples' ways of life, other peoples' religion."
"We're children of God, every one of us," he added. "I've been brought up that way and ... I raise my kids that way -- to respect other peoples' cultures and religion. And in my heart I decided I'm going to help them."