Recipient of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1989.
This late 13th-century mosque of the Bahri Mamluk period is the oldest standing in Sidon. Built on the remains of a Crusader fortress, the south wall is still braced by five sturdy Crusader buttresses, in stylistic and chronological juxtaposition to the minaret executed by the Ottomans in the second half of the 19th century. This outstanding monument was severely damaged by shellfire during the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon. Its users, instead of building a new mosque, elected to restore their old one, the funds having been provided by a native son living in Paris. Assisting the architect in the thorough documentation of the structure was a team of architects and students from Beirut. The walls, piers, arches, vaults and domes that had been completely or partially destroyed were rebuilt, and an iron anchorage was placed in the minaret. The jury noted that this effort, was a "combination of human steadfastness in the face of tragedy, of restoration talent and inventiveness in particularly difficult circumstances, and of dedicated patronage and sacrifice that makes the reconstruction of the mosque a beacon in a tortured land and a sign of hope for the rebuilding of war torn nations."
Source: Aga Khan Trust for Culture
Umari Great Mosque Restoration (Variant)
حملة ترميم وإعادة اعمار المسجد العمري الكبير (Translated)
Constructed by Sultan Al-Mansur Qalawun, Shelled and Partially Destroyed by Israeli Bombardment, 13th c.
Steele, James, editor. Architecture for Islamic Societies Today. London: Academy Editions, 1994.
Presentation of the projects selected in the fourth cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, all described in detail, examining not only development and design, construction methods and technology, but also the historical background of the site. The visionary philosophy behind the awards has been to seek to encourage architects, builders, clients and users to learn and add to Muslim heritage and to reflect on the continuous relevance of the contemporary expressions of “Islam” as a religion, culture and civilisation. Architecture for Islamic Societies Today is the fourth in a series of books under the general title "Building in the Islamic World Today".