Besides the architectural beauty and the fact that it seems to be the guardian of Beirut downtown, the Hariri Mosque has a strong political and social importance. It is called the Hariri Mosque (one of the former Lebanese PMs) and the square besides it, Martyrs' Square, is a common place for political demonstrations, such as the ones in 2007.
Its official opening took place in October 2008. However, construction works had finished in 2005, but the inauguration was postponed due to the assassinate of the Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri (who also financed the project). His burial place is next to the mosque, covered by a tent, with 24/7 security.
Azmi Fakhuri, the mosque's architect, was inspired by the Blue Mosque in Istanbul but gave it "a Lebanese identity". The four minarets are 72 meters high and their style imitates the ones of the Mecca Grand Mosque. The stone used in the construction was brought to Lebanon from Saudi Arabia.
Unfortunately, constructions for a mix-use residential and business complex began on the plot in front of the mosque, shadowing ita beautiful sandy and blue colors.
When I first visited, in 2009, there was a separate entrance for women (facing the Mosque, on the left side) that leads to a small balcony from where you can admire the inside architecture. In 2012 women could enter the main prayer hall together with men.
Throughout the years, the Lebanese designer Elie Saab decorated the Christmas tree which was placed besides the mosque.
The Mohammad El-Amin Mosque, also known as Hariri’s Mosque or the Blue Mosque, is one of the premier tourist attractions of the Lebanese capital. It is called the Hariri Mosque informally because its construction was financed by Rafiq Hariri, the Lebanese construction magnate cum President who was assassinated in 2005. The inspiration of Istanbul’s Blue Mosque is pretty clear in this place of worship as well, which was completed between 2002 and 2007. The sparkling blue domes of the Mosque provide an even greater delight when you enter the place, as they are painted with beautiful designs and calligraphy. The interior of the mosque is vast, with sparse interspersing of pillars (this is done to ensure that the faithful are not broken up when they line up for group prayers) and the floors are laid with rich carpets. Although the mosque is new, great pains have been taken to ensure a very traditional style and feel to its decoration. This is an active place of worship, so visitors are always asked to take off their shoes and cover up, and also to be respectful of those who come here to pray.
No expense seems to have been spared in the construction of the massive Mohamed al-Amin Mosque for its interior is richly - and tastefully - decorated. A large central dome towers above the prayer hall with two half domes on either side. Enormous crystal chandeliers light the interior which is decorated in a definite Ottoman revival style, very similar to mosques seen in Istanbul. The dome is painted with floral and geometric motifs, while he mihrab (prayer niche) is framed by decorative blue Iznik-style tiles and the minbar is made of intricately carved wood. It is highly recommended to tour the interior of the mosque when visiting Beirut, and of course, the usual conservative dress for men and women is necessary.
This glorious new mosque was built by Rafic Hariri, the former prime minister, before his assassination in Feb 2005. It stands proud by Place des Martyrs (Sahet el-Chouhada), Beirut's most famous square, and has become the defining symbol of the city. With its Ottoman-style minarets and Byzantine central dome, this architecturally stunning mosque was clearly inspired by the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. Unfortunately, Rafic Hariri never lived to see the mosque open its doors, for construction was not completed until 2006. His tomb however, has been placed next to the mosque and has since attracted numerous visitors, Christians and Moslems alike, who come to pay their respects. For more photos of this architectural masterpiece, check out the Travelogue: "Mohamed al-Amin (Hariri) Mosque".
A new mosque built in the very center of Downtown Beirut...right next to Martyr's square and towering over the whole area. This mosque with its 4 minarets and its blue dome is quite huge and cannot be missed. Ex-Prime Minister Rafic Hariri who was brutally assassinated very close to the downtown, was buried very close to this mosque, as he was the one who worked hard to have it built. He had also asked in his will that he buried there...and it is quite ironic that he lay in the same area that was called Martyr's square.
This mosque is not yet complete on the inside, and so, its doors are closed. However, you can take beautiful pictures of it..and you can also visit the place where Rafic Hariri lays..with the flowers of those who love him over his grave..
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