the alabaster mosque of Mohamed ali

Mohamed Ali Mosque is the em­blem of the Cairo Governorate. Mohamed Ali (1769-1849) was born in Cavalia, Greece, and was of Albanian origin. He was a soldi­er in the troops that were sent to Egypt to free the country from Napoleon’s occupation and took part in the land battle of Abou Kir on the 25th of July 1799. In 1808 he was the commander of the Al­banian troops in Egypt. In 1805 the Egyptians revolted against Wali Khourshid and Mo­hamed Ali took over.

The mosque was built in 1830 in two parts: the mosque and the courtyard. The court measures 52 x 54 m and is surrounded by four corridors lined with marble columns and sur­mounted by little domes. In the centre of the court there is the fountain for ablutions (where Muslims wash before saying their prayers that take place five times a day). The clock tower on the western, side of the fountain is of perforated copper. The clock was a present from King Louis-Philippe of France to Mohamed Ali Pasha in the year 1845.Architect Youssef Boshna from Turkey who constructed this mosque, took his model from the Hagia Sophia, the church that was later transformed into a mosque, and is known for its Byzantine style.

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