Egypt has inaugurated Cairo’s oldest Ottoman mosque after undergoing restoration work by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. The mosque shares the same site as the Fatimid-era tomb of Sayed Sariya and lies within the famed Citadel of Salah Al-Din, the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty who liberated Jerusalem from the Crusaders in 1187.
According to Reuters, restoration of the 16th century Suleyman Pasha Al-Khadim mosque, originally built in 1528 CE by the Ottoman governor after whom it is named, took five years under the supervision of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities and the army’s Arab Organisation for Industrialisation.
“To distinguish the Ottoman mosques, the minaret is usually pencil-shaped,” Mostafa Waziri, head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities was quoted as saying. “The mosque consists of the prayer area, the vicinity, the Fatimid cemetery and the Kuttab [Qur’an school].”
— Arab News (@arabnews) September 18, 2023
The project reportedly cost just over $161,000 (about 5 million Egyptian pounds) and is part of similar initiatives by the Egyptian authorities to restore historic Islamic sites in Old Cairo. Last month, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi reopened the restored Sayyida Nafisa Mosque. This followed the inauguration and renovation of the Fatimid-era Al-Hakim Mosque, the fourth-oldest mosque in Egypt, earlier this year.
Late last month, Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly oversaw the opening of the renovated 12th century Ben Ezra Synagogue in Cairo, considered to be one of the oldest in the country.