Aleppo, September 13, Interfax - The Ahmat Kadyrov Fund has provided $14 million for the rebuilding of the Syrian Umayyad Mosque, the main mosque of Aleppo, which was destroyed by terrorists in April 2013, Aleppo Mufti Mahmoud Akem said.
"Fourteen million dollars is the amount needed for rebuilding. The Ahmat Kadyrov Fund has promised to provide that money and this money has already been provided," Akem told reporters.
The funding for rebuilding the mosque was promised by Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of Chechnya, who promised to fully rebuild the mosque even if more money is needed, he said.
"Ramzan Kadyrov has offered us help, he has decided to help us in this difficult hour. This person has given such a gift to our state. Our government has accepted this gift," the mufti said, adding that other funds or organizations, including UNESCO, have not yet offered their help with rebuilding the mosque.
The rebuilding is expected to last some two years, the mufti said.
Kadyrov "is also fighting terrorism and he condemns manifestations of extremism in all its forms," the mufti said. "We absolutely think in the same way and I see how he feels about the people of Syria," Akem said.
The Umayyad Mosque of Aleppo was built in 715. According to a legend, the father of John the Baptist, Zacharias, was buried there. The mosque is the largest and oldest in Aleppo and is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The only tower of the mosque was fully destroyed by militants in April 2013.