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Monday, September 18, 2023

In Photos: Restored Ottoman-era Suleiman Pasha Al-Khadim Mosque inaugurated - Islamic - Antiquities - Ahram Online

In Photos: Restored Ottoman-era Suleiman Pasha Al-Khadim Mosque inaugurated

Nevine El-Aref , Saturday 16 Sep 2023

The Suleiman Pasha Al-Khadim Mosque, known as the Sariyat Al-Gabal Mosque, was officially inaugurated today after the completion of an architectural restoration.

The mosque, known by Egyptians as the Sariyat Al-Gabal Mosque, was built in 1528 by the Ottoman governor of Egypt Suleiman Pasha Al-Khadim.

The inauguration was led by Ahmed Issa, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, and Cairo Governor Khaled Abdel-Aal. 

Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) Mostafa Waziri and Vice-Governor of Cairo Gihan Abdel-Moneim also attended the event.

Issa noted that the mosque is a masterpiece of Ottoman architecture and an invaluable part of the country's cultural heritage.

He added that the state is spending three billion Egyptian pounds on various restoration projects in the current fiscal year as a means of enhancing the country's tourism industry.

Revenues from tickets to historic sites increased five-fold in the last two years, said Issa.

"The restoration is a self-financed project carried out by SCA restorers using the latest scientific techniques, and with reference to the original mosque design," Waziri said. 

He added that the restoration project took five years at a cost of about EGP 5 million.

Hisham Samir, assistant to Minister Issa for archaeological projects, said that the restoration work included removing plasterwork added over the centuries, cleaning the masonry, and repairing the mosque's walls, woodwork, and decorative elements.

The Sariyat Al-Gabal Mosque was built on the ruins of a former Fatimid mosque built in 1140 by the Fatimid governor Abu Mansur Qastah Ghulam Al-Muzaffar Ibn Amir Al-Guyush.

In the Ottoman period, the mosque served the Janissaries, an elite unit of the Ottoman armies that conquered Egypt in 1517.

​Sariyat Al-Gabal is considered to be Egypt's earliest Ottoman-style mosque and is characterized by domes, semi-domes, pencil-shaped minarets, and ceramic tiling.

The mosque consists of a prayer hall, a kuttab (Quranic school), and a mausoleum. It features an open central courtyard of coloured marble, surrounded by four domed porticoes, in classic Turkish style.

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