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"Mini-mosque to be built in Israeli airport"


 
Thursday, December 21, 2006

Mini-mosque to be built in airport
Israel - The Jerusalem Post
 

A prayer room for Muslims will be built in Ben Gurion Airport, as part of a
series of steps aimed at strengthening ties with the Arab community of
Israel, The Israeli Airport Authority announced on Thursday. 

IAA CEO Gabi Ofir said the room will have the conditions necessary for
keepers of the Muslim faith, such as purity of location, purity of the body
and purity of clothes. 

The prayer room will be a square shaped space. In the entrance, a
purification water trough will be set up, as well as a 35 cm. rest bench.
The 20 square meter room will face southeast. 

The room will be carpeted and have a niche facing Mecca in one of its walls.
It will also contain a library with Muslim prayer books. 

Apart from setting up the prayer room, the IAA has already begun several
steps that will strengthen ties with the Arab community, the most prominent
of which was starting the Unit for Relations with Minorities, a unit working
24 hours a day, seven days a week, giving assistance, guidance and help to
Arabic speaking travelers in the airport's terminal. 

Recently, an Arabic language website of the IAA was unveiled, and also guide
booklets and comprehensive Arabic language signs throughout the airport have
been published. 

Ben Gurion Airport serves between 20,000 and 50,000 passengers daily. The
ratio of Muslim passengers from within this estimate is unknown, but it is
assumed that the prayer room will be sufficient for the needs of the Arab
passengers wishing to pray while they are in the airport. 

The prayer room is in its initial planning stage. According to the airport,
the plans are tentative and no timetable for building the room has been
decided.

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