All the sixth-festivities around 1:00 p.m. or the main hall of the Hamza Mosque is filled with men for the Salat al-Jummah, an obligatory prayer performed on the holiest day of the week for the Island.
Located at Rua Cônego Eugênio Leite, in the heart of the Pinheiros neighborhood, in the western area of São Paulo, a mosque founded in 2010 was opened to serve the many Muslim shopkeepers who do business in the region, especially at Rua Teodoro Sampaio, one of their main roads.
The local receives its members at least five times every day for collective prayers. Às sextas-feiras, na congregational prayer, or quorum chega more than 50 people.
But you are responsible for the temple and we don’t know for how long we can continue to receive the faithful in the mosque.
The property that houses the religious center was sold to a corporation for the construction of a residential development and you are responsible for the mosque and receive notifications to vacate the premises.
“The property was not owned and was sold by the owner. Despite being non-local for almost 12 years, we were not given the preference of buying on account of a gap in the law that is the owner of such obligation”, explains Mohamad Taha, president gives mosque
“We are being forced to leave, but with great sadness and indignation.”
Around the mosque, other buildings acquired by the corporation were demolished for the construction of the new enterprise. A metal tapume near or property.
“We have a lot of love for this place, where we built our history collaboratively and with a lot of love,” says Kamal Chahin.
“We like a lot about our current location, because in addition to serving the Muslim lojists of the region, we also receive a lot of Arab tourists who stay in the region,” says the Lebanese, who leads weekly visits to the mosque to introduce and demystify the Islands to interested parties.
“We are going to continue our work where for, but without hesitation or soon in a central region that would make it much easier.”
The director of the mosque also regrets losing the investments made less than three years ago in a reform, which practically doubled the useful space of the temple and renovated the façade.
You are responsible because you are looking for a new imóvel to settle, but try to walk slowly, especially because of the real estate speculation that reaches the neighborhood of Pinheiros.
“We want to maintain the region, but the values per square meter in Pinheiros will not stop rising and we are having difficulties to fill a space”, says Taha.
Among the frequenters of the mosque, news about a move was received with apprehension.
“I live a few blocks away and go to the mosque every day. A more distant place is going to cause a lot of damage or dislocation,” says the 30-year-old Pakistani Muhamad Aslam, who has lived in Pinheiros for about a year, since Chegou ao Brazil to work.
“Everyone in my family is very much in the mosque, in the environment and in the community formed here. We are sad with the news,” says Muhamad Ali Hindi, a 24-year-old lojist of Lebanese descent.
A situation experienced by the mosque is repeated frequently in the neighborhood.
Since 2019, the city of São Paulo has experienced a new real estate boom. Pinheiros, in particular, saw a great masonry of works. Increasingly the low-rise properties and the groaning houses of the neighborhood have given rise to high-end real estate developments.
The region of the sub-prefeiture of Pinheiros is the one that concentrates the highest number of demolition projects in the city in the last two years, as shown by the data of the Municipal Secretary of Urban Planning and Licensing (SMUL) collected in order to report by BBC News Brazil.
Only in 2021, two 602 published in the municipality of São Paulo, 133, or 22%, are concentrated in this, which is just one among the 32 subprefeitures of the São Paulo capital.
In 2020, there was a further major explosion of the Alvarás expedition: there were 382 authorized demolitions.
To incorporate responsibility for the residential building that will occupy the land on which Mesquita Hamza stands, One Innovation is building or recently launching 25 new developments in São Paulo, three of them in Pinheiros.
The project for the Cônego Eugênio Leite and Teodoro Sampaio streets has not yet been publicly disclosed.
Two One Innovation projects in Pinheiros are being built where the Beth Jacob Synagogue used to be, also known as the Pinheiros Synagogue.
The building that houses the religious center was located on Rua Artur de Azevedo, about seven blocks from the mosque that divides the neighborhood, but it was demolished a few months ago for the construction of a new residential project.
The synagogue, founded by Polish, Russian and Roman Jews, was not built since its inauguration in 1937.
Later we received an offer from the incorporation in the middle of last year, the board of directors of the Jewish temple decided to sell the property.
“A construction company bought all the imóveis around the corner and we saw that we would be isolated there, fenced off by high-rise buildings on two sides,” says the president of the synagogue, Mauro Sankowski.
According to Rabbi Levi Rabinowicz, concern with insurance was the main factor influencing the decision to sell. “The property of the synagogue was very old and demanded a lot of maintenance. The structure could run risks during the construction of two new projects and, at the same time, the necessary reforms would be very costly,” he says.
Most synagogue communities never thought of permanently dating their doors.
Shortly after the sale, in August 2021, the director has a house in Pinheiros to continue his activities, although temporarily.
“In the old synagogue we managed to hold events for up to 200 people, while currently there are up to 50 people and we don’t have the most appropriate arrangement,” explains Rabbi Levi.
“We intend to acquire something more permanent and appropriate in the future,” says Sankowski.
O director, porém, regrets the change of premises. “My country and uncle will participate in the foundation of the synagogue and its growth in this space. There was an emotional link,” he says.
According to Rabinowicz, some older patrons decided to visit the synagogue with a change. “Some families have their history rooted there and have chatted with a transfer,” he says.
The rabbi also reports new concerns with insurance. “In the old synagogue we had an armored wall. In new we have adapted as we had and installed only a bullet-proof door and a camera system.”
A administração do temple, porém, tem feito o possível to maintain a quorum and recall the roots. “We keep and trouxemos some old móveis, to maintain a memory of the past”, he tells.
“It is not easy to change, but we are trying to be reborn from scratch and make it happen again”, summarizes Rabinowicz.
In a note sent to reportagem, a One Innovation developer affirms that “there is no interest in destroying the religious temples of the city to undertake” and that the assets are being sold by their own two owners.
One company stated that the Beth Jacob Synagogue could be maintained without any disturbance outside its original location if it was in the interest of the owner and that One even allowed the temple to remain outside the location for more than a year after the sale.
Concerning Mesquita Hamza, an incorporator affirmed that the imóvel where she stays was allotted for commercial and non-religious purposes, disrespecting the lease agreement. For this reason, the terms of stability provided for religious entities in the city of São Paulo do not apply.
“The owner of the property and the landlord was also the owner of other nearby lots and her intention was to sell all the lots, even because they are registered in a single transcript, making it impossible, in the registry, to be sold in isolation,” she says in a note sent Peel An Innovation.
– This text was originally published in https://www.bbc.com/portuguese/brasil-61933753
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