About the Al-Omari Mosque
The Al-Omari Mosque gets a lot of visitors every year who come from various parts of the world as it is one of the oldest surviving mosques in Islamic history. It was built on the ruins of a Byzantine church by the Crusaders. Founded by Caliph Omar, the mosque is one of Beirut’s oldest buildings which was a Roman temple and a church dating back to the 13th century. Situated on Weygand and Maarad Streets, the mosque suffered damage during the civil war and it was restored afterwards and even modified several times. The last modification took place on June 4th 2004 in the presence of Sheikh Mohamed Racheed Kabbani, the Mufti of the Lebanese Republic.
The Mosque nowadays
The Muslims made the place their own religious site and at present the mosque is opened for all visitors but before coming into the mosque visitors are asked to take off their shoes. Many people say that body parts of Prophet Yahia’s ( John the Baptist’s) had been placed inside the mosque. That’s why the inhabitants use to take blessings from this sacred relic. What is very impressive is the interior of the mosque, darker than the exterior and reminding of the Ottoman mosques. Its architecture is plenty of arabesques and of other Middle Eastern nuances.