Egypt’s Oldest Mosque Now Conserves More Water

amr ibn al as mosque in cairo egypt wikicommons

As more and more Muslims become conscious of environmental conservation practices, water waste usually becomes a major area of concern. Muslims pray five times a day, and typically perform the ritual washing, or wudu’, prior to each prayer. Providing sacred cleansing, water is precious in Islam and reducing waste is a religious duty enjoined upon Muslims by God and by the prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.

Helping Muslims conserve water, GROHE sanitary fittings company launched a “Green Mosque” initiative to replace outdated faucets in many famous mosques all around the Middle East. Similar to another “Green Mosque” initiative underway in UAE, updating older facilities to better conserve precious resources is GROHE’s main focus. As I live in Egypt, it caught my attention quite happily to learn that GROHE visited and updated the plumbing in Egypt’s oldest mosque, the famous Amr Ibn Al As Mosque in Cairo.

Appearing first on our sister site, The Inspired Economist, I wrote this article to share GROHE’s wonderful corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative, the “Green Mosque” project with my InspiredEconomist.com readers. However, from the beginning I have been thinking it is a great initiative that EdenKeeper readers will appreciate, as well:

Egypt’s Oldest Mosque Receives New GROHE Plumbing

egypt mosque of amr ibn al as flickr

Egypt’s first and oldest Mosque has received a plumbing upgrade. As part of a “Green Mosque” CSR initiative by the world’s leading provider of sanitary fittings, GROHE has included Egypt in their global WaterCare campaign.

In coordination with the Ministry of Islamic Affairs in the Egyptian capital of Cairo, GROHE replaced 43 mixers and 14 faucets in the Great Amr Ibn El As Mosque. This mosque was chosen because it is the first and oldest mosque built in Egypt. It is considered to be the “Taj al-Jawamie,” or “Crown of Mosques.”

The Great Amr Ibn El As Mosque is a famous destination for worshippers and tourists alike, arriving in the thousands every day. This water conservation project by GROHE is very helpful for conserving water and also for saving public spending on the mosque’s water bill.

Egypt’s Great Amr Ibn Al As Mosque

Built in 641AD by Amr Ibn Al As, the mosque was built in Al-Fustat, a city that grew from an Arab army encampment on the site of present-day Cairo. The original mosque has been destroyed and rebuilt many times in its long history. The third rebuilding was commissioned by Saladin in 1172 after al Fustat was burned by crusaders. Following the arrival of Napoleon Bonaparte’s troops to Cairo in 1798, the mosque fell once again into ruin. The present mosque is a 19th-century reconstruction preserving design elements and ornamental work from various periods of the building’s history.

In the Great Amr Ibn El As Mosque’s ablution rooms, thousands of worshippers prepare for worship by ritually washing according to rules in Islam’s scriptures, the Holy Quran. This practice of washing is called wudu’, and is customarily performed prior to each of the five daily prayers. With this heavy usage, water waste is a perpetual problem, even for the most waste-conscious worshippers and the most vigilant of plumbers.

Minimizing Water Waste

The mixers and faucets in the Great Amr Ibn El As Mosque’s ablution rooms were replaced with new GROHE products. The new fittings, with adjustable flow limiters, were set to minimize water wastage during the ritual washing. In the central courtyard area of the historical mosque, new fittings were also installed for increased access to water.

GROHE representatives then provided technical training to the mosque’s facilities team on setting up and using the new mixers. Both GROHE and the mosque management set up a schedule for monitoring the water meters inside the mosque for tracking the installation’s success.

image

“Water is Life’s Matter and Matrix”

Amer A Hadi, GROHE Regional Manager for Egypt & North Africa said: “Water is life’s matter and matrix, there is no life without water.” He continued, “GROHE is dedicated to using its advanced technological resources, first-class materials and design innovation to ensure water efficiency.”

Hadi also commented, “The Amr Ibn El As mosque is the first in Egypt to benefit from GROHE’s ongoing ‘Green Mosque’ initiative. The installation of our advanced faucets will aid in reducing water consumption and provide worshippers with easy to use facilities whilst performing ablution, and we hope to play our part in reducing the water footprint of in Egypt.”

“The More You Save, The More You Enjoy”

The “Green Mosque” project is a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative of GROHE, which was developed as part of GROHE’s global WaterCare conservation program to increase water conservation practices in the region. The motto of GROHE WaterCare campaign is, “The more you save, the more you enjoy.”

Headquartered in Luxembourg, the GROHE group has a global workforce of around 9,300 people. They have nine proprietary production plants located in Germany, Portugal, Thailand, Canada and China. The company currently generates around 85% of its sales outside of Germany, and reported consolidated sales of €1.45 billion in 2013.

GROHE’s “Green Mosque” CSR Initiative

GROHE has supported many local communities, providing a great service by increasing awareness of water consumption and conservation across the region. The “Green Mosque” CSR initiative was first launched in Dubai in 2009, in partnership with the Dubai Water and Electricity Authority (DEWA) and Sesam Business Consultants. For that project, 20 new mixers with self-closing faucets were installed in the Abu-Hamed Ghazali Mosque at no cost to the mosque. The new plumbing upgrade resulted in a 30% decrease in water consumption.

The “Green Mosque” CSR initiative also visited Saudi Arabia. GROHE’s sustainable water solutions were fitted in ablution rooms in the Sharbatly Mosque in Jeddah. Here as well, they witnessed approximately 30 percent reduction in water usage. To date, the “Green Mosque” CSR initiative has visited the UAE, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, and further installations are planned for the region.

image (Image note and source: Egypt’s Amr Ibn Al As Mosque water fountains in courtyard. wikicommons)

(Top image note and source: Amr ibn Al As Mosque, Cairo, Egypt. Flickr)

 
 
 
Keep up to date with all the eco-spirituality news here on EdenKeeper. Subscribe to our newsletter to never miss a story.





About the Author

Aisha Abdelhamid (Birth-name Kathleen Vail) is a freelance lifestyle and environmental science writer currently living in Vancouver, BC. Her interests include environmental conservation, climate science, renewable energy, faith-based environmental activism, sustainable economics, corporate social responsibility, creative lifestyles, and healthy living.