Dr. Ibrahim Almeky warmly welcomed a reporter into the conference room of his Pierce Street medical practice.
The conversation wasn’t about health care or prescriptions, but his other occupation: religion. While the bulk of Almeky’s time is spent practicing as an internist at his Urgent Care center and at the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center, he’s also the imam — or an Islamic prayer leader — at the Masjid Al-Noor Mosque in Wilkes-Barre.
Almeky leads a congregation of about 300 that includes recent immigrants, students as well as people — like him — who have long since planted roots in the region.
“We have an open door policy,” Almeky said. “Come and attend the prayer.” The mosque has called 991 Scott St. home since the early 1990s. In addition to serving as a house of worship, it has become a community center for Islamic people in the Wilkes-Barre area — much as Catholic parishes did for immigrants to Northeastern Pennsylvania in the 1800s and 1900s.