Ottoman masterpiece mosque stands strong in heart of Tel Aviv
A mosque built near modern day Tel Aviv in the last years of the Ottoman Empire continues to stand strong despite years-long tension and conflict in the region.
Built by the empire’s Governor Hassan al-Basri Aljabi in 1914, Hassan Beg Mosque in the settlement of Jaffa has survived the test of time with its architectural beauty despite being attacked many times since the foundation of Israel.
Established in 1948 on a large part of historical Palestinian lands, the state of Israel included old Jaffa city under Tel Aviv’s local administrative management and the doors of the mosque were closed to Muslims.
Having been cut off from its Muslim environment with later-built hostels and entertainment venues around the mosque, it was reopened to worship in the late 1970s by Jaffa’s Muslim community.
Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, the imam of Hassan Beg Mosque, Sheikh Ahmad Abu Ajwa did not hesitate to praise the architectural features of the mosque, which is over 100 years old.
“Hasan Beg Mosque is literally an Ottoman masterpiece. Whoever looks at the structure of the mosque, from its entrance to its pulpit and mihrab, will see that it is a giant Ottoman work,” the imam said.
He noted that the mosque has a prayer area for nearly 3,000 people.
“However, all Palestinians, particularly the people of occupied Jerusalem, and our brothers and sisters in Turkey have been providing full support to this mosque,” he added.
Turkey’s Mirasımız (Our Heritage) Association, which works on the preservation of Ottoman heritage in Jerusalem and its adjacent territories, restored the east and northeast facades of the mosque and reconstructed the southeast wall of the mosque in accordance with Ottoman architecture in 2009.