Jakarta’s Haven for an Excluded Community


During the day it is a hairdresser’s salon in Notoyudan, a suburb of Yogyakarta on Java island. But after dark, the mirrors are hidden behind embroidered drapes, rugs are spread over the carpet, and the walls are brightened up with velvet hangings and a poster of Mecca. Bound copies of the Qur’an take the place of fashion magazines. “Every Monday and Thursday evening we reorganise the room for the student’s prayer session. During Ramadan we do it every day,” said Mariyani, 52, a woman’s hairdresser and the founder of this unusual Qur’anic school.