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Atlanta-area mosques open their doors to Irma evacuees
In Atlanta, Khalid Rashied mans the check-in table at Al-Farooq Mosque. (Camille Pendley)

ATLANTA — Al-Farooq Mosque was one of roughly 20 in Georgia that opened its doors to offer shelter for hurricane evacuees, and by mid-day Sunday it had welcomed nearly 200 people.

So far, nine of the 20 mosques — most of which are in metro Atlanta — are hosting evacuees. Others were on standby to take in people as needed.

Volunteer Khalid Rashied, 66, was among those checking in guests and helping to coordinate hosting.

“I was surprised by how many people showed up, I really was,” said Rashied, who been attending Al-Farooq Mosque for three decades.

Combined, the mosques are providing shelter to more than 350 people, offering food, water and whatever else they might need.

Aisha Yaqoob, 24, is leading communication efforts between the mosques.

“I just wanted to make sure that we were coordinating,” she said. “There were a few younger folks that wanted to make sure we were as efficient and effective as possible.”

And so the group created Google Docs to help with coordination as well as a WhatsApp group to deliver real-time updates on available space and resource needs. There’s also a special Google number that people can call to find out which mosques have space available.

“Any time we help a fellow human being it feels good,” Rashied said. “It’s part of our religion —  and every religion, for that matter.”

Hurricane Irma: Storm moves north after pounding Florida
Heavy winds and rain are seen in Miami on Sunday. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Irma, the record-setting hurricane that devastated islands across the Caribbean, has been churning north through Florida — and has turned its sights on Georgia.

Visit the Capital Weather Gang’s live updates page for more on the storm.

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