The Jakarta Post
Several young Muslims performed their last tarawih (evening prayers during Ramadan) on the Jl. Basuki Rahmat pedestrian bridge in Jatinegara, East Jakarta, on Monday, as the structure will soon be demolished to make way for the Bekasi-Cawang-Kampung Melayu (Becakayu) toll road project.
Every Ramadan, the pedestrian bridge has been used by youths in the area as a place to pray because the nearby Mushola Miftahul Jannah prayer room only allows older residents.
“This is our last year. There are five neighborhood units [RT], from RT 8 to RT 12, that will be evicted for the Becakayu toll road. This is our last chance seeing young Muslims praying on the bridge," Arafat, the mushola’s caretaker, said as quoted by Wartakota.tribunnews.com.
He went on to explain that the area would be cleared for the construction of an elevated ramp road that will connect Cawang, East Jakarta, to the toll road.
The toll road developer, Arafat added, had measured the mushola several months ago as it would build a new prayer room of the same size elsewhere.
"The building is valued at Rp 900 million [US$63,000]. The total area is 88 square meters," he added.
Another caretaker, Ponco, said he was sad to see the mushola, which was built in the 1980s, torn down soon.
The mushola has served as a place where young Muslims of the area learned about Islam.
"It's been our tradition that the elders pray inside the mushola while the young people pray on the bridge. I'm sad, but what can I do?" Ponco said. (vla)