Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sayed Fakroodeen Building, Durban

Sayed Fakroodeen Building, DurbanI was browsing through my pictures this evening looking for a building for today's blog post and came across this little beauty.

The Sayed Fakroodeen Building on the corner of Prince Edward and Cross Streets, Durban is typical of many of the buildings in and around Grey Street that belonged to local Indian businessmen. Shops at street level with a verandah providing shade for the customers on the footpath. On the upper floors, accommodation, perhaps for the traders and their families.

With the Sayed Fakroodeen Building, the second storey balcony is enclosed providing more living space and also serves as the base of an open terrace area for the third storey residents.

Sayed Fakroodeen Building, DurbanThe Sayeed Fakroodeen who put his name to this building in 1937 may be the same man who joined with other young Muslims in Durban in 1934 to found the Muslim Darul Yatama Wal Masakeen (the Muslim Home for Orphans and Destitutes). A Sayed Fakroodeen was on that first committee in 1934, serving as Treasurer.

The Institute celebrated their 75th anniversary in 2009 and now has several homes caring for orphans and the aged.

Whether there were one or two Sayed Fakroodeens in Durban in the 1930s we can acknowledge the remarkable legacies that have been created for the city. A wonderful Art Deco building with shops and accommodation and, with a group of associates, an organisation looking after the less fortunate of the Durban Muslim community.

Sayed Fakroodeen Building, Durban

Durban Art Deco website
History of Muslims in South Africa, A Chronology by Ebrahim Mahomed Mahida
Darul Yatama Wal Masakeen website

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