The Grand Mosque of Strasbourg is expected to welcome its first Ramadan, which begins 1 August. The building, whose main prayer room can accept 1,500 worshippers, has yet to obtain approval from the prefectural security committee, whose official visit will take place on the same day. Agreements are being sought with the Strasbourg municipality to allow the mosque to open for worshipers throughout the month and then close thereafter until construction is complete. Aalla Said, the mosque's president said: "A preliminary visit of the technical committee went well. We have some details to work out. But in terms of safety, we are up to par. " "We are confident. The mosque is ready. It only needs the interior, " the mosque's real estate manager, Fouad Douai, said on Wednesday. The interior of the mosque will be conducted in zellige, a glazed terracotta by Moroccan craftsmen by the end of the year. The inauguration is scheduled for November. Though there are many mosques in Strasbourg, the Grand Mosque will be the first purpose-built mosque in the entirety of France's Alsace region. Other mosques are converted buildings, the largest of which is the Eyyub Sultan, a former industrial building that still claims to offer the largest prayer hall in Strasbourg, with a capacity for 1750 worshippers. Approval for the construction of the new mosque was given way back in 1999 by the socialist municipality, but its size was called into questioned by the UMP, which came to power in 2001. The mosque effort was relaunched in 2008 with the return of Socialist Roland Ries. The project has struggled to complete the mosque on a budget of 8.7 million euros. Local, city, regionional governments will ultimately provide 26% of the amount under the bankruptcy law in force in Alsace and Moselle, with the balance divided between the Strasbourg Muslim community on the one hand, and Morocco, the Saudi Arabia and Kuwait on the other. The Grand Mosque of Strasbourg, which has a copper dome rising 24 meters, will not have a minaret, at least initially. While the right was vetoed, Roland Ries said there be no objection. "It's a sign of openness, but we are in no hurry," said Fouad Douai about this architectural element that was planned in the initial project to reach 28 meters . The Grand Mosque will conduct services in French and Arabic, and hopes to attract much of the Muslim community in the city of Strasbourg, which is estimated to be around 50,000 people, about 10% of the population.
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