World Bulletin / News Desk
Mahmoud Akil Abu Salah, a local official responsible for religious affairs, provided a brief history of the ancient city.
According to Abu Salah, Al-Bab was conquered by the Muslim armies during the reign of Caliph Umar bin al-Khattab (634-644).
The city’s Grand Mosque (Al-Masjid al-Kabir) was built in 717.
Al-Bab, Abu Salah explained, boasts 60 other historical mosques, 40 of which have already been renovated with the help of Turkey’s Diyanet Foundation.
“The Grand Mosque was damaged in recent clashes with the ISIL terrorist group,” he said.
“God willing, we will see the mosque’s full grandeur once the restoration works are completed,” he added, going on to note that the renovations were expected to last about one year.
Fayad Aslan, an officer at the Turkish company carrying out the renovations, said that all repairs were being conducted with a view to preserving the mosque’s original design and appearance.
“Each block of stone of the mosque’s minaret will be catalogued before being removed,” he said. “Once they are repaired, they will be put back in the exact same position.”
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