• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Africa’s largest mosque inaugurated in Algeria

Great Mosque of Algiers

Algeria today, inaugurated the “Great Mosque of Algiers” after 7 years of construction. The edifice, featuring an 869-foot praying tower, is Africa’s biggest mosque and the third largest in the world, trailing Masjid al-Nabawi, The Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, and Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, which is not only the world’s largest mosque but also the most expensive building in the world.

The gigantic structure, known to locals as Djamaa El-Djazair encompasses 27.75 hectares (almost 70 acres of land) and situated on the Mediterranean coastline of the North-African nation.

In the mosque lies the world’s tallest minaret, a praying tower that can hold up to 120,000 people. The building features a helipad, and a library that can reportedly hold up to a million books.

Great Mosque of Algiers

The ceremonial inauguration comes as Ramadan preparations begin against March 9th.

Ethnically, Algeria is primarily Islamic. The vast majority of citizens, about 97% of the population are Sunni Muslims. Arabic is the national language, but various Arabi-Berber dialects and French are also spoken.

Algeria is classified as an upper-middle-income nation by the World Bank. Despite this, the nation decision to invest its resources in building the central worship centre for its Muslim community, could see profit for the country’s tourism revenue. The construction of the mosque reportedly cost nearly $900 million and was contracted to a Chinese firm.

Great-Mosque-of-Algiers

These funds could be traced to the country’s export revenue from natural gas and petroleum. Last year, Algeria overtook Nigeria as Africa’s biggest exporter of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).

In Nigeria, Ilorin hosts the largest mosque accommodating about 20, 000 capacity and serves as a tourist destination for the West African nation. The mosque, which also features an Islamic library, was built by the then Emir to provide a larger space for faithfuls to worship. Its last renovation dates back to 2007.