Workers in Algiers started laying foundations Sunday for what should become the world's tallest mosque, as well as the wold's third largest mosque, exceeded in size only by the sacred mosques in and Madinah.
It is a one-billion-euro project that will include a dizzyingly tall minaret which will be almost as high as the Eiffel Tower, culminating 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.
The worlds tallest mosque currently is the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco. Its minaret is 210 meters tall.
The huge building in the capital Algiers -- referred to as the "Algiers Mega-Mosque" -- will be built on 20 hectares of land by the China State Construction Engineering Corporation and is expected to create 17,000 jobs â 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.
It will also comprise a prayer room for 120,000 worshippers, a 2,000-seat library, an art museum and a research centre.
"China builds world's third largest mosque for Algeria" PM News May 21, 2012
"Algeria begins work on mega mosque" Express Tribune May 21, 2012
Katerina Nikolas, "Algeria: Work begins on world's third largest mosque" Digital Journal May 21, 2012
"World's tallest mega-mosque being built in Algeria" TV-Mmay 21, 2012
Reproduced with permission from Islam Today