About the Mosque that Found itself in Tel AvivHassan Bek Mosque is one of Jaffa's active mosques. Unlike the other mosques, it is located in Tel Aviv, just north of Jaffa. The reason is that when it was built here, agricultural land was confiscated for it from a Jaffa-based Christian-Arab merchant named Michel Matry.
During the War of Independence, Arab fighters barricaded themselves here and shot at the Jewish residents of Tel Aviv who were in the Carmel market. After the war there was indeed an intention to destroy the mosque, mainly because of its threatening image in the eyes of Tel Aviv residents, but its beauty led to a decision to continue to allow it to operate. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the mosque has been a source of friction between the Jewish population and the Arab population of Jaffa. There were Jews who never accepted the decision to keep it standing and over the years there were a number of failed attempts at sabotaging the mosque.
History of Hassan Bek MosqueThe mosque was built in 1916 by Hassan Bek, who was the Turkish military governor of Jaffa at the time. In order to build the mosque, Hassan Bek used threats, boycotts, and even means of incarcerating Jews and violent robberies, to obtain equipment and building materials, most of which were taken by him without charge. There has never been a decision that the mosque will be named after him, it just happened during the construction process and remained so. The name of the mosque perpetuates a tough and cruel man, even murderous - for both Jews and Arabs at the time.
In retrospect, some of them tended to forgive him, partly because the civilian governor of Baha al-Din, who served as the Kaymakam of Jaffa, was much more difficult than he was, and because he also did deeds that were perceived as good for some of the population. But many, including the Arabs of Jaffa, never forgave him.
Due to the cruelty of Hassan Bek, the Arabs of Jaffa refused to pray in the mosque for many years. This is because the workers who built it, were forced by Hassan Bek. They worked day and night, hard and merciless work, many of them seriously injured, and 78 of them even died during construction.
Hassan Bek Mosque ArchitectureUnlike most of Jaffa's buildings, built of dark sandstone, the impressive structure of the Hassan Bek Mosque was built of white limestone. It stands out in its white dome and the tall turret. By the way, this minaret, from which the muezzin calls the Muslim faithful five times every day to come to the mosque for prayer, has angered quite a few Jews over the years. But the State of Israel proved its attitude toward minorities, when in 2000 the mosque was renovated and permission was granted to increase the height of the turret. In fact, the minaret of the Hassan Bek Mosque is almost double than its original height.
The beauty of the mosque is even more striking, against the backdrop of the hotel next to it. This contrast between traditional Muslim construction and the modern, western-capitalist structure, much larger in size, is beloved by many photographers and tourists, who combine them as "old and new - side by side."