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alabaster mosque
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Alabaster Mosque

This mosque is one of the best known in Cairo, and dominates the skyline. The pencil-thin minarets and silvered domes glow in the sunset. The Mohammad Ali Mosque is built of alabaster (hence the common name, Alabaster Mosque). It was built between 1824 and 1848, although the current domes are reconstructions in the 1930s.

Up close, it is an impressive monuments, even if the domes are not silver, but tin, and the walls and arches are dimmed by the hands of hundreds of tourists and years of Cairo smog. When Mark visited 20years ago, their guide held a lighter to the walls to show how translucent they were -- there is a dark ring around the mosque where I'm sure thousands of guides have done the same thing. Now, the mosque is lit with graceful spirals of chandeliers and globe lamps. It was dark and gloomy -- Mark kept repeating that it looked nothing like what he remembered.



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al rifai mosque

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