As the iconic cathedral of Notre Dame (below) burned in Paris, a fire broke out at the historic Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem (see above).
The Palestine fire broke out at the roof of a structure known as the Al Marwani prayer room in Al Aqsa mosque. The prayer room is an underground vaulted space used as a Muslim prayer hall, some 600 square yards in area, at the bottom of stairs which lead down from Al Aqsa Mosque. Al Marwani prayer room is located underneath the southeastern corner of Haram Al-Sharif, which contains both the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque.
No significant damage was caused by the fire, but it did endanger a part of the worship site that is over 2,000 years old.
The Palestine News Agency cited a guard as saying Monday, April 15, 2019, that “the fire broke out in the guard’s room outside the roof of the Marwani Prayer Room, and the fire brigade of Jerusalem Islamic Waqf handled the matter successfully.”
The covered mosque building was originally a small prayer house erected by Umar, the second caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate, but was rebuilt and expanded by the Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik and finished by his son al-Walid in 705 CE. The mosque was completely destroyed by an earthquake in 746 and rebuilt by the Abbasid caliph al-Mansur in 754. It was rebuilt again in 780. Another earthquake destroyed most of al-Aqsa in 1033, but two years later the Fatimid caliph Ali az-Zahir built another mosque whose outline is preserved in the current structure. The mosaics on the arch at the qibla end of the nave also go back to his time.
During the periodic renovations undertaken, the various ruling dynasties of the Islamic Caliphate constructed additions to the mosque and its precincts, such as its dome, facade, its minbar, minarets and the interior structure. When the Crusaders captured Jerusalem in 1099, they used the mosque as a palace and the Dome of the Rock as a church, but its function as a mosque was restored after its recapture by Saladin in 1187. More renovations, repairs and additions were undertaken in the later centuries by the Ayyubids, Mamluks, Ottomans, the Supreme Muslim Council, and Jordan. Today, the Old City is under Israeli control, but the mosque remains under the administration of the Jordanian/Palestinian-led Islamic Waqf.
The cathedral was begun in 1160 under Bishop Maurice de Sully and was largely complete by 1260, though it was modified frequently in the ensuing centuries. In the 1790s, Notre-Dame suffered desecration during the French Revolution; much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. In 1804, the cathedral was the site of the Coronation of Napoleon I as Emperor of France, and witnessed the baptism of Henri, Count of Chambord in 1821 and the funerals of several presidents of the Third French Republic.
Popular interest in the cathedral blossomed soon after the publication, in 1831, of Victor Hugo's novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. This led to a major restoration project between 1844 and 1864, supervised by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, who added the cathedral's iconic spire.
The mosque is located in close proximity to historical sites significant in Judaism and Christianity, most notably the site of the Second Temple, the holiest site in Judaism. As a result, the area is highly sensitive, and has been a flashpoint in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.
Al-Masjid al-Aqsa translates from Arabic into English as "the farthest mosque". The name refers to a chapter of the Quran called Al-Isrā’ (Arabic: ٱلْإِسْـرَاء), "The Night Journey"), in which it is said that Muhammad travelled from Mecca to "the farthest mosque," and then up to Heaven on a heavenly creature called al-Burāq ash-Sharīf.
"Mayor Pete," a Democratic star running for president, is from South Bend, Indiana - where Notre Dame University is located. ~ Andrew Griffin, Red Dirt Report.
Peter Paul Montgomery Buttigieg (born January 19, 1982) is an American politician and former Naval Intelligence Officer who has served as the mayor of the city of South Bend, Indiana since 2012. On April 14, 2019, Buttigieg formally announced he was running for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States in 2020 after having formed an exploratory committee in January 2019.