al rahman mosque

This is the Al-Rahman Mosque in Baghdad, Iraq. When I first came across it on Google Earth in about 2005 or 06, I thought it was a palace of some kind that had been blown up by American bombs during the 2003 invasion. After a little research I discovered it was a mosque, intended to be one of the largest in Iraq. It was commissioned by Saddam Hussein in 1998, but uncompleted at the time of the 2003 invasion. I thought the domes had been destroyed by bombs, but in fact they were never built.

I wonder how long this great building will sit here. It’s already been abandoned for 10 years, an indirect casualty of war. Perhaps in the future, as Iraq struggles to rebuild its society, someone will find the willpower–and the money–to complete it. Maybe in the future the call of the muezzin will be heard from this mosque, and it will be a reminder of community and peace rather than disunity and conflict.