Priest Elly, Donates Land to Found an Islamic Boarding Schools in Papua

Priest Elly, Donates Land to Found an Islamic Boarding Schools in Papua – Al-Hidayah Islamic boarding school in the Koya Koso region, Abepura District, Jayapura City, Papua is one evidence of tolerance among religious believers in Papua. Nevertheless, the history of the establishment of this mosque has gone through a heartwarming complexity of problems and struggles.

The story started when Ismail, a Qor’an teacher in the Walesi area, had conflict with local residents since the residents rejected to acknowledge the existence of the 500 meter-wide mosque he has built. The people there finally seized the land.

As as resisting, Ismail went to the residents to ask for the return of the land. Although the dispute had occurred, Ismail was advised to back down.

The news was heard by Pastor Elly of Keondoafian Leseng, Papua. Pastor Elly decided to give Ondoafi’s land of 2 hectares to rebuild Ismail’s pesantren.

“Lost 500 meters, get 2 hectares,” said Ismail, quoted from the book Educating Selflessly: The Story of Islamic Fighters, published by the Ministry of Religion, Thursday (26/3).

Ismail is very grateful for the grant of this land, especially since the land in the Koya Koso area is quite expensive. Even though they already have the land, at first the condition of this pesantren was also apprehensive. Understandably, Ismail must build this pesantren from zero. Fortunately, many transmigrant residents were sympathetic to him, donating money for the establishment of this pesantren.

Meanwhile, for getting students, Ismail recruited many children from mountainous areas. “I asked them learn with me from Yalemo, Yale Jaya, Bintang Mountains, Nduga regency, Paniai, Dogiai, and Nabire,” he explained.

This difficulty was not something new in Ismail’s life. In the past, to study Islam, he had to travel long distance and it was difficult to access. He was eventually forced to study oin the grass with his father and mother.

Therefore, in his opinion, his past trials and experiences made him enthusiastic for establishing a pesantren that could become a center for Islamic education in Jayapura.

“If we think about it, it is easy, but it is difficult to implement,” added Ismail.

In the future, he wants this pesantren to be built with Papuan architecture and complexion. So that, Papuan and Islamic cultures can coexist and complement each other.

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