As a part of our project Cultural Competence in Health in Jerusalem, supported by the Jerusalem Foundation, the Alyn Children Rehabilitation Hospital has decided to open a Muslim Prayer Room. It is important to note that it is the first Muslim prayer room in a non-Arab hospital in the city, and the second in Israel. It is a result of a deep understanding of the importance of prayer to the healing process.
Community leaders from Tsur Baher, Fuad Abu Hamed and Sheikh Issam, were consulted to ensure that the room was well adapted to the special religious needs of Muslims. These leaders generously helped us to know how to furnish the room allocated for use as a prayer room and gave gifts of Korans and prayer carpets. Alyn Hospital made all the necessary adjustments to ensure that the room included a feet bathing corner, a special clock that shows the time of prayer each day and other essential furbishings. Appropriate signage in Hebrew and Arabic marks the location for visitors, patients and staff.
Today was the formal opening; a few weeks of pilot operation showed that the room is already well used by the Muslim community of the hospital. We at the JICC are very proud to be a part of this initiative of Alyn. Experience shows that patients who feel that the hospital is open to their spiritual needs respond much better to medical treatments.
We hope with time to convince other hospitals in Jerusalem similarly to allow people of all religions room for prayer and reflection in a respectful way.