Turkish mosque turned into temporary ‘supermarket’
On the entrance of an Istanbul mosque, the racks normally reserved for the sneakers of the devoted are loaded with pasta packages, oil bottles, biscuits — like a grocery store.
However they aren’t on the market. As a substitute, they’re destined for the needy, arduous hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
The signal on the mosque’s window asks anybody who can to go away one thing, and says these in want can take one thing.
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Abdulsamet Cakir, 33, imam of the Dedeman mosque within the Sariyer district, got here up with this concept of reaching out to the poor by way of the place of worship after Turkey suspended mass prayers in mosques till the danger of outbreak passes.
Turkey’s official dying toll from the virus now stands at 2,259 after 119 extra deaths had been reported on Tuesday, and main cities together with Istanbul will probably be underneath lockdown for 4 days from Thursday.
“After the suspension of mass prayers, I had an concept to revive our mosque by bringing collectively well-off individuals with the individuals in want,” Cakir informed AFP contained in the mosque, the place luggage of meals and cleansing merchandise had been piled up on the ground.
The younger imam, who takes the merchandise from the ground and locations them on the cabinets on the entrance, stated he was impressed by a donation tradition within the Ottoman interval known as “charity stone” — a small pillar stone erected at sure areas of the town to attach wealthy individuals with the poor.
Powerful state of affairs
On this Ottoman system aimed toward giving charity in a dignified method with out offending the needy, individuals with means would depart no matter quantity they wished in a cavity on the highest of the charity stone.
Those that had been in want would then take the quantity they wanted and depart the remainder for others.
“After the coronavirus pandemic, we now have considered what we are able to do to assist our brothers in want,” stated Cakir, who would already assist the poor in his neighbourhood earlier than the outbreak.
“With the inspiration from our ancestors’ ‘charity stone’ tradition, we determined to fill the racks in our mosque with the assistance from our brothers with means,” he added.
Cakir hangs a listing on the wall of the mosque the place residents who need assistance write their names and phone numbers.
The imam later sends the listing to native authorities who examine whether or not the names are actually in want and his staff then sends a message that they will go to the mosque and obtain no matter they want: eight gadgets at most.
“I’m actually in dire want. My husband doesn’t work. I used to scrub homes however for the reason that virus, they not name,” Guleser Ocak, 50, informed AFP.
“I wrote my title on the listing earlier than. I acquired a message immediately to select up assist,” she stated. “We’re in a troublesome state of affairs.”
The mosque has been offering companies for 2 weeks and reaches out to 120 individuals in want per day. And the listing consists of over 900 individuals.
A most of two individuals sporting masks and gloves enter the mosque and take what they want, whereas others wait outdoors, standing a couple of paces from one another.
“We unfold the companies by way of the day. We name 15 individuals for every half an hour, in order that we respect social distancing and don’t trigger large queues,” the imam stated.
“We’re doing our greatest to assist our sisters and brothers in the very best approach with out offending them,” he added.
The mosque doesn’t settle for money donations and as a substitute receives assist packages.
“Producers additionally donate. A miller brings in flour, a baker brings in bread, a water distributor brings in water,” Cakir stated.
The mosque’s cabinets are stuffed with merchandise despatched from throughout Turkey and even overseas.
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“Everybody does no matter they will to assist individuals in want. For instance, a brother who lives in France did on-line buying and directed the help to our mosque,” he stated.
“What the mosque is doing is absolutely, actually good for us. Ramazan is coming,” stated Duygu Kesimoglu, 29, referring to the Muslim fasting month starting this week.
“I’m sadly jobless, they don’t make use of us due to the coronavirus. No job, no cash. This assist may be very, excellent,” she stated.Disclaimer:We do not allow users to post content which is copyright and We take strict actions against the users who post infringement content on our website.Although we do not host any content, users post embed videos from youtube, facebook, Dailymotion and Vimeo and are moderated before posting but we still take strict action against the copyright videos posted.If you are an official representative of any company whose videos are posted illegally on our website or you think some video infringe the copyright then you can simply send an email to email@example.com