CAIRO – 27 April 2022: President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi emphasized on Wednesday that no antiquities or monuments inside al-Hussein Mosque in Old Cairo were tampered with during the renovation of the historic temple.
Sisi visited the mosque to inspect the renovation work as part of a plan update all the mosques and shrines of Ahl al-Bayt, or the family of Prophet Muhammed, in Egypt. Al-Hussein Mosque is the most prominent of those mosques, followed by Assayeda Nafisa Mosque and Assayeda Zainab Mosque.
The Indian Sultan of al-Bohra, an India-based subgroup of shiism, accompanied Sisi in his visit, along with an Indian Bohra delegation.
“I welcome you as a dear guest we always cherish, you and your accompanying delegation. I thank you for the attention and effort that you offer to Ahl al-Bayt shrines… We are always happy to have you and to see you in Egypt anytime,” Sisi said. However, critics on social media showed dismay at the railing fence that now surrounds al-Hussein Mosque.
These buildings are beloved by many Egyptians, and their renovation is underway in cooperation with the Ministry of Antiquities. The renovation works also include streets and facilities leading to the mosques in a way that complements the architectural and historical style of Old Cairo.
Al-Hussein Mosque is one of the most frequented mosques in Egypt. Hence, the carpeting was not holding up and posters were seen on the walls with no regard to the historical value of the place. Beggars were also commonplace inside and outside the mosque, as many worshippers sought blessings, repentance, and resolutions to their troubles in that mosque, and so they were ready to be charitable during their visits.
It is a highly important mosque for Egyptians, who are mostly Sunni and are known for their fondness of Ahl al-Bayt. It is also an important mosque for many Shiites around the world and is thus considered a tourist attraction for its significance and architectural and design beauty. Its courtyard is an attraction for pigeons as well.
Critics on social media showed dismay at the railing fence that now surrounds al-Hussein Mosque, which has somewhat changed the outlook from inside and outside the mosque. Such fences, however, are usually installed to reduce the number of random pedestrians, beggars, and the amount of trash, ultimately protecting the building.
Photo courtesy of Samar Samir