$889M Great Mosque of Algiers Inaugurated in Algeria: The Largest Mosque in Africa

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After years of political upheaval that have delayed its construction, Algeria has inaugurated the Great Mosque of Algiers. The mosque is set to be the largest mosque in Africa, located on Algeria’s Mediterranean coast. The political wrangles and disputes transformed the project from a symbol of state-sponsored strength and religion to one taunted in doubt and cost overruns. The inauguration of the mosque is strategically poised to welcome worshipers during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The Great Mosque of Algiers broke ground for construction in early 2010s and has taken close to seven years for its completion. The mosque features the world’s tallest minaret, measuring 265 meters. Algerian President Abdelmajid Tebboune inaugurated the mosque recently, fulfilling his promise to open it with great circumstance and pomp. The event was mainly ceremonial, however, with the mosque having been open to international tourists and state visitors to Algeria for five years.Djamaâ el Djazaïr: the Great Mosque of Algiers is the third largest in the world - Domus

The Special Features of the Great Mosque of Algiers

As it stands, the Great Mosque of Algiers is the largest in Africa, the largest outside Islam’s holiest cities, and the third largest on Earth. Its prayer room harbors the capacity to accommodate 120,000 people at a time. The mosque encompasses a modernistic design as it contains Arab and North African flourishes. This is done to honor Algerian tradition and culture. It also includes a helipad, for helicopters to land on and a library. The library can house up to one million books. The Great Mosque of Algiers also has the world’s tallest minaret which stands at 265 meters, truly remarkable feet.Great Mosque of Algiers

The Construction Cost of the Mosque

The official construction cost of the mosque was $ 898 million. The construction project was handed out to the Chinese Construction Engineering Corporation.  The mosque was originally a project of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. He wanted the most to be remembered in his name as part of his legacy as a president. The mosque was to be named the “Abdelaziz Bouteflika Mosque” much as Hassan II did with the mosque in Casablanca, Morocco. The mosque was once hailed as Africa’s largest when it was completed. The widespread protests in 2019 led him to resign as the president after 20 years in power. This impeded his plans to name the mosque after himself or inaugurate it in February 2019 as earlier planned.119 Algeria Grand Mosque Images, Stock Photos, 3D objects, & Vectors | Shutterstock

The Challenges that Faced the Construction Project of the Mosque

The Great Mosque of Algiers was taunted by various controversies and delays during the seven years that it was under construction. These challenges included factors such as the choice of site, which experts marked as one that is seismically risky. The state of Algeria denied these claims in a news release that was recently posted on its state news agency. The project also received backlash from the Algerian public as well as criticism. Many insighted that the cost used on the construction of the Great Mosque of Algiers would have rather been used to construct hospitals instead.

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