Friday, July 06, 2012 -
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev celebrated his 72nd birthday on Friday by opening up a 19,000-square-foot mosque in the Kazakh capital Astana.
The three-storey mosque, called Hazrat Sultan, is built in natural stone in the classic Islamic style, and boasts a wedding hall, dining room, and a 167-foot dome surrounded by eight smaller domes of 25 feet each.
The main hall of the mosque is designed to hold 5,000 people.
“Kazakhstan is a multiethnic country, and Muslims are the representatives of different nations and nationalities,” Nazarbayev said in a speech commemorating the opening of the mosque.
“The whole world knows that in Kazakhstan, all kinds of religions live quietly together...I congratulate you with the opening of the biggest mosque in the country.”
The mosque’s grounds also have five fountains, parking for 745 cars, and separate bathing rooms for men and women.
A fire broke out in the mosque earlier this year while it was under construction, killing one workman.