President Abdel Fattah El Sisi opened early yesterday Egypt’s Islamic Cultural Centre in the New Administrative Capital (NAC).
One of a large number of major projects carried out within the NAC, the centre is a huge complex that contains different departments for the promotion of Islamic culture and learning.
The president was accompanied in the opening of the centre by Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayyeb and Prime Minister, Moustafa Madbouli, along with a host of other cabinet ministers and state officials.
Before his motorcade proceeded towards the centre, President Sisi shared a pre-dawn meal (suhoor) with construction workers and engineers implementing the different projects of the NAC.
The move was a gesture from the Egyptian leader to express appreciation for the workers, constructing Egypt’s new capital.
“I thank you all for the work you do to advance the construction of the NAC,” the president said.
Sitting in front of him were construction workers, wearing their uniforms.
“Your efforts have turned this place, which was a barren desert in the past, into something else,” the president said.
When he arrived at Egypt’s Islamic Cultural Centre, the president listened to an explanation about the complex’s contents from the engineers overseeing its construction.
The centre is made of a media department, a public library and space for memorizing the Quran (Muslims’ holy book). It also consists of other departments that will offer cultural services to its visitors.
The centre also contains 160 commercial shops and a praying space that can accommodate 116,000 worshippers at a time.
The internal space of the mosque can accommodate 12,000 worshippers at a time.
The centre’s mosque has made three Guinness World Records, including for containing the world’s largest and heaviest chandelier.
Having entered the centre, the president toured Dar al-Quran.
The president also listened to an explanation about the function of each section of the centre by Sheikh Osama al-Azhari, a presidential adviser for religious affairs.
Sheikh al-Tayyeb said the president’s opening of the centre and the mosque attested to the deep value Islam bestows on worship, learning and knowledge.
He greeted the president, Egyptians and Muslims around the world on the advent of the Islamic month of Ramadan.
Sheikh al-Azhari described the centre and the mosque as ‘great achievements’ within the NAC.
He thanked the president and the grand imam of al-Azhar for attending the opening of these sites.
Al-Azhari also expressed hope that the mosque would enhance cultural and religious activities and training for different categories of people.
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