The first institute for the training of imams and preachers in all of Latin America is set to open its doors beginning in March 2009.
The Latin American Institute for Islamic Studies is located in the city of Maringa in the northern state of Parana, will not simply be the first of its kind in Brazil, but a first for Latin American Muslims.
The institute will focus on teaching Islamic studies, training imams, and have a 12-member teaching stuff. It is expected to enroll some 150-250 high school graduates to be enrolled in a two-year study program divided into six semesters. “So far, only students from Maringa will be able to enroll, but we are planning to build a dormitory to enable students from across Brazil to study at the institute,” said Sidahmed Osman, the executive director of the Latin American Institute for Islamic Studies. However, it will also offer online e-learning courses for those who wish to take part in the curriculum from abroad. Graduates will be granted a locally and internationally accredited degree; “We have already coordinated with the Brazilian government and with a number of leading universities in the Muslim world to credit our degree,” said Osman.