By Arabian Post Staff
DJIBOUTI: Just a few kilometres from the centre of the capital city of Djibouti, experts are giving final touches to what is tipped to be the second largest mosque in the country.
The initial idea of Masjid Al Rayan originated in the need for providing a place for worshipers who had to vacate their original neighbourhood in an old district of the capital. However, thanks to personal interest and generous funding by businessman and philanthropist Mohamed Said Guedi, the scope of the project has only expanded.
The majority of Nassib’s inhabitants had start a new life as they lost their homes to a massive fire in the old inner part of the capital in 2017, destroying over 200 properties. Displaced and distressed, they did deserve a wider, cooler place where they could not only pray but also reorganise their community life. Answer to their prayers could not have been better than a beautiful mosque, equipped with modern facilities.
The rapid development associated with the mosque has since brought benefits such as a paved road, a power line with public lighting and a water supply system. The city has also benefited from both physical and social infrastructure, and in the midst of these developments one piece of architectural beauty that is destined to stand-out is Masjid Al Rayan.
A piece of land spread over five thousand square meters was provided by the Ministry of Welfare WAQF and the project included construction of a mezzanine floor with a total surface of 1 460 square meter that can accommodate 1,000 men in the main hall and 400 women at the mezzanine level.
However, Al Rayan is not only a place of worship,but offers a school facility , accommodations for the employees of the mosque and shops. It was the intention of the donor to ensure that the mosque becomes the heart of this community.
The double-domed design, supplemented by giant chandeliers and a 21.5-meter high minaret is inspired by the great Fāṭimid mosques of Cairo—Al-Azhar and Al-Ḥākim with the latest technologies with luxury settings.
Al-Rayan was designed in the traditional hypostyle plan with axial cupolas.
Since its inception, Guedi, who is also the Chairman of MSG Group of Companies, has always taken deep interest in the progress of his project as it is close to his heart. Be it the design or construction stage of a beautiful commercial block attached to the mosque, sanitary work for ablution, or the parking facility, Guedi has always kept himself informed of the progress and financial requirements of the project.
As the third stage of the project is starting in Djibouti , Mohamed Said Geudi is already preparing a twin structure that will be based in the same architectural design as Al Rayan mosque in Hargeisa, Somaliland. The Hargeisa mosque will be even bigger and have nearly double the capacity of Al Rayan.
As a part of his many charitable contributions in the region of the Horn of Africa, Mohamed Said Guedi has funded various road projects such as Dawga Camuud and Dawga Caad, maintenance of Hargeisa Airport road, maintenance of Hargeisa local government roads, rehabilitation of Doobo mountain road, and reconstruction of roads in the district of Dar es-salam outside Hargeisa, Somaliland.
Also published on Medium.