Saturday, September 19, 2009

Siksik family

The imam in charge of Siksik mosque explains to our guide (who's finishing a doctorate thesis on Jaffa at Tel Aviv University) that the renovation works are almost over and the re-opening of a mosque closed in 1948 was going to take place very soon (see BBC article below)

Mosque Reopens in Jaffa

BBC- Arabic
Presenter, Woman # 1
Muslims in Jaffa reopened Siksik Mosque after 61 years of closure. The Siksik family built the Mosque in 1838, and made it available to all Muslims in the city. However, Israel confiscated all Islamic common properties such as cemeteries and Mosques and forced the people to leave in 1948 when Israel was established.

Reporter, Man # 1
This Mosque has a long history. It was built by the Siksik family in Jaffa at the end of the 19TH century. In 1948, the Mosque was confiscated by the Israelis who used it for storing products for years. Then it was closed and neglected and eventually became a hang out place for drug addicts and gamblers just like many Muslim religious buildings in Historical Palestine.

Guest, Man # 2
Islamic common properties were desecrated for the past 60 years since the establishment of Israel. Regrettably Islamic common properties were desecrated in cities that have both Jewish and Palestinian population such as Haifa, Jaffa, Lidda, and Bir Al Sabe’ in the south. This was a dangerous assault not only on the identity of the land and buildings, but also on the right to worship. It was an attack on Muslims’ rights to have their own Mosques and to regularly worship God.

Reporter, Man # 1
However, the family of Siksik and the rest of the Muslims who remained in Jaffa kept demanding their right to reopen the Mosque for the past 60 years. Although the Israeli authorities rejected their repeated demands, Muslims decided to take the unprecedented measure of renovating the Mosque and reopening it for worshippers.

Guest, Man # 3
Reopening the Mosque is a historical event. This important event moved the residents of Jaffa and other Muslims wherever they are. We believe that this is a historical event, because this is the first Mosque that is liberated after 60 years.

Reporter, man # 1
The Siksik Mosque was officially reopened by the former Mufti of Palestine, Sheikh Ekrima Sabri and other Islamic figures in the presence of dozens of Muslims from the city. They demanded their right to open the many Mosques that have been confiscated by Israel for decades.

Guest, Man # 3
I think that all Muslims agree that they should exert more effort to reopen the confiscated Mosques. This is part of regaining our rights. I hope that Israel changes its mentality towards this issue so we can achieve justice. This is a fundamental part of human rights.

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