Jordanian Christian creates Dome of Rock Mosque replica

By Laith al-Juneidi

AMMAN, Jordan (AA) – Nezam Neema, a Christian artist from Jordan, has designed a replica of Jerusalem’s iconic Dome of the Rock Mosque to “honor Palestine’s martyrs”.

The mosque is one of the Islamic icons in Palestine. It was first built by Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan and was opened toward the end of the 7th century.

“I started working on the replica in 2012 and it took me 18 months of constant work [to finish it],” Neema said. “It weighs six tons and it is 3.8 meters high.”

The replica’s dome is made of 1,280 pieces of pure copper.

Neema said it is not strange that he made a replica of a mosque, even though he is a Christian.

“I see no difference between the two religions at all,” Neema said. “It is an honor for me to be a Muslim and I’m proud to be Christian, because I was raised as one.”

“There should be values of tolerance, mercy, affection and respect among us and I do not differentiate between a Jordanian, a Palestinian or a Syrian,” he added.

Neema said he is waiting for a response from the Jordanian government on where the replica – which cost around $33,000 to make – will be showcased.

“I wanted to give Amman a present and to send greetings from Amman to Jerusalem for the souls of the martyrs who have struggled for Palestinians and their rights,” he said.