Egypt recently celebrated the reopening of a mosque originally constructed by the Ottoman governor Suleyman Pasha al-Khadim in the 16th century. The mosque is located within the citadel that has dominated Cairo’s skyline for centuries.
The mosque is Cairo’s earliest Ottoman mosque and was built in 1528 A.D., eleven years after the Ottoman army under Sultan Selim captured Egypt from the Mamluk kingdom. It features 22 domes covered in green tiles and a minbar (prayer niche) inlaid with tiles from the famous Iznik region of Turkey.
The elaborate mosque measuring 2,360 square meters was constructed on the site of the tomb of Sayed Sariya, which was constructed during the Fatimid dynasty in 1140 A.D. and still stands today.
According to Mostafa Waziri, the head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, the minaret of an Ottoman mosque is typically designed like a pencil so that it may be distinguished from other mosques. The prayer space, the surrounding area, the Fatimid cemetery, and the Kuttab (Quran school) are the components that make up the mosque.
The mosque, which can be referred to as both the Suleyman Pasha al-Khadim mosque and the Sariya mosque, can be found within the citadel of Cairo. After defeating the Fatimids and seizing control of Cairo, the Muslim general Salah al-Din commissioned the construction of the castle. A few years later, Salah al-Din ultimately prevailed over the Crusaders and took control of Jerusalem.
The renovation was overseen by Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities and the Arab Organisation for Industrialisation, both of which are affiliated with the Egyptian military. It took five years to complete.