Ahmed Issa, the Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, participated in the inauguration of Al-Zahir Baybars Mosque after the completion of its restoration and reconstruction project.
The mosque was inaugurated by Grand Imam, Ahmad Al-Tayeb, Sheikh of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, and Mullen Achimbayev, the Speaker of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
After the opening, the attendees took a tour inside the mosque to inspect the works that were carried out during the restoration project.
They also listened to a detailed explanation from Mustafa Waziri, the Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, about the restoration project, the history of the mosque, and its unique architectural elements.
Issa began his speech on this occasion by welcoming the attendees, expressing his happiness at the inauguration of the mosque after the completion of its restoration.
The minister was also keen to thank everyone who contributed to the restoration of the mosque, sending a message to the Kazakh people in which he welcomed their presence in Egypt, inviting them to visit this edifice.
In his speech, Muhammad Mukhtar Gomaa, the Minister of Awqaf, affirmed that the inauguration of the Al-Zaher Baybars Mosque today confirms Egypt’s interest in its history, present, and ancient mosques.
Pointing out that the official inauguration of this mosque today comes after about 225 years of closure, during which the mosque did not perform its role as a mosque, as it was used as a military fortress, then a soap factory, then a bakery, and an altar.
Gomaa added that the cost of the mosque restoration project amounted to about EGP 237 million, to which the brotherly Kazakh side contributed about $4.5 million in 2007, equivalent to about EGP 27 million at the time.
He also contributed about EGP 60,500 million from its own resources and about EGP 150 million from the tourism ministry from among its own resources, and the support of the country from the ministries of finance and planning.
He also announced that Friday prayers this week will be broadcast from Al-Zahir Baybars Mosque.
On his part, Achimbayev expressed his happiness at the opening of the mosque today, in conjunction with the celebration of the 800th anniversary of the birth of Al-Zahir Baibars, conveying the greetings of the Kazakhstan president on this occasion.