China builds world’s third largest mosque for Algeria

Workers in Algiers started laying
foundations Sunday for what
should become the world’s
third-largest mosque, a one-
billion-euro project that will
include a dizzyingly tall minaret. The huge building in the capital
Algiers will be built by the China
State Construction Engineering
Corporation and is expected to
create 17,000 jobs — most of
them for Algerians. Construction is due to be completed in 2015. Algeria’s Religious Affairs
Minister Bouabdallah Ghlamallah
and Chinese ambassador Liu Yuhe
attended the foundation-laying
ceremony, the official APS news
agency reported. “The construction of this
building represents a new
landmark in Sino-Algerian
relations,” the minister said. The mosque complex will include
Africa’s tallest minaret,
culminating almost as high as the
Eiffel Tower at 270 metres (880
feet). It will have 25 levels and
eight elevators to whisk observers to the top to view
the bay of Algiers. It will also comprise a prayer
room for 120,000 worshippers, a
2,000-seat library, an art
museum and a research centre. The Grand Mosque or Masjid al-
Haram is the largest mosque in
the world. Occupying 990 acres,
it is located in the city of Mecca
and surrounds the Kaaba, the
place which Muslims worldwide turn towards while offering daily
prayers and is Islam’s holiest
place. Including the outdoor and
indoor praying spaces, it can
accommodate up to four million
Muslim worshippers during the Hajj period, one of the largest
annual gatherings of people in
the world. The second biggest mosque in
the world is said to be the Al-
Masjid al-Nabawi “Mosque of the
Prophet”), often called the
Prophet’s Mosque. It is a
mosque situated in the city of Medina. As the final resting place
of the Islamic Prophet
Muhammad, it is considered the
second holiest site in Islam by
both Shia and Sunni Muslims.