President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has reopened the historic ‘Kalhuvakaru Mosque’ and the adjoining park in the former Sultan park area.
He opened the mosque at a ceremony held today and was joined by Vice President Faisal Naseem, Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed, Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage Yumna Maumoon as well as other cabinet ministers.
Speaking at the ceremony, President Solih the most important part of our nationality is the true Islamic beliefs we have in our hearts and that the country can only maintain its freedom and sovereignty with religious unity.
President Solih also said that the historic mosque is well connected to the cultural heritage and craftsmanship of the country. He noted that the mosque boasts several of the nation’s unique characters and is a national treasure.
He said the age-old building is a true testament to the building prowess of Maldivians and stated that the mosque is now the only one of its kind. He further stressed that the mosque is the only local structure standing today, built with lacquered woodwork using Kalhu Vakaru (lumber from the ebony tree). It also exhibits the ancient Hiriga (coral stone) handiwork of our forefathers.
Noting that the mosque has a long history of changing destination, President Solih said that he hoped that the historic mosques had finally found its home.
The mosque was dismantled in 2016 during the tenure of former President Abdullah Yameen and the then administration announced that it would be moved to Gaafu Dhaalu Thinadhoo. But these plans were never executed as authorities remained mum about the location of the dismantled mosque.
Tourism Minister Dr. Abdullah Mausoom hailed the mosque as a landmark of Islam.
In a tweet, he said that it is a symbol of past political rivalry and present political solidarity and unity.