Muslims Return to Newly-built Houses in Beijing

Approximately 2,500 Muslim families recently returned to new houses in Niujie street, the main community of Chinese Muslims in Beijing, bidding farewell to their former run-down houses.

It is large, bright and comfortable, said 100-year-old Sha Fenggang, upon first viewing his new house, which has fulfilled his long-cherished dream.

About 7,500 families, the majority of which are Muslims, are planned to move into new apartments built with government funds, according to departments concerned with city construction. Some 1, 200 families already resettled in October 1999, while the rest of the families will move into their new dwellings in the near future.

The resettlement has been designed to cause as little inconvenience to the Muslim families as possible. In the residential areas, much room has been left for the construction of restaurants and stores to the convenience of the residents. Most of the buildings are painted yellow with green borders, a favorite style of Muslim people.

With more than 58,000 Muslim residents, Niujie is the largest Muslim community in Beijing. The famous 1,000-year-old Niujie Mosque is also located in the neighborhood.

People's Daily Online ---