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Khalifa visits Hassan II Mosque

posted on 23/07/2006: 839 views

Casablanca - President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan paid a visit yesterday afternoon to King Hassan II Mosque here.

He was accompanied by Abbas Al Fasi, State Minister and head of the accompanying delegation of honour. At the Mosque, he was received by Dr. Ahmed Al Tawfeeq, Minister of Islamic Affairs and Endowments, Mr. Mohammed Al Qabbaj, Mayor of Metropolitan Casablanca, and a number of civil and military officials.

Sheikh Khalifa and the accompanying delegation toured the various sections of the Mosque. The Minister of Islamic Affairs presented him with a collection of rare Islamic books.

Toward the end of his tour, Sheikh Khalifa wrote down a brief remark on the golden register in which he expressed happiness at the opportunity to visit "this religious shrine that reflects Morocco's civilisation.”

Hassan II Mosque, built for the 60th birthday of former Moroccan king Hassan II, is a landmark of modern Islamic architecture. It has space for 25,000 worshippers inside and another 80,000 outside. At the top of the minaret towering 200 meters above the city, a laser beam visible 35km away, indicates the direction of Mecca.

Although Hassan II Mosque was designed by a French architect, it is Moroccan through and through. All of the granite, plaster, marble, wood, and other materials used in its construction were taken from around Morocco.

A workforce of 35,000, including 95 engineers and 10,000 traditional Moroccan artisans worked for seven years (1986-1993) to build the monument.

The mosque also includes a number of modern touches: it was built to withstand earthquakes and has a heated floor, electric doors, a sliding roof, and lasers which shine at night from the top of the minaret toward Mecca. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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