SAMARRA, Iraq: Al-Marjaiyah Ad-Diniyah representatives,
clerics and high government officials attended a grand reopening
ceremony of the rebuilt holy shrine of Al-Imamyan Al-Askariyain in
Samarra on Thursday April 16, 2009.
The dome and minarets of the shrine that was levelled in 2006 and
2007at the hands of terrorists have been reconstructed with the help
of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization
(UNESCO) following improvements in security.
"The technical teams were able to complete the rebuilding
of the dome and the minarets with Iraqi hands," said Haqi al-Hakim,
head of the government committee charged with rebuilding the
Replacing the gold tiles that once covered the massive dome and
completing intricate ceramic decorations will require more time, he
said, but visitors are now being allowed inside the building for the
first time since 2006.
Sayed Ahmed As-Safi, Marjaiyah representative in Karbala,
while attending the ceremony said that he felt much satisfaction as he
entered the holy shrine. He praised the workers.
Sheikh Jalaloddin As-Saghir was among those who spoke on the occasion.
The massive golden dome, about 20 metres (66 feet) high
and with a diameter of 68 metres (223 feet), was built in 1905 and
covered with 72,000 gold tiles.