Saturday 24 September 2022 \

 

The northernmost mosque in the world left without electricity

The Nurd Kamal mosque stands exposed on the edge of modern Norilsk, where temperatures drop 50 degrees Celsius below zero. Polar winds whip its golden roof and snowdrifts pile against the turquoise walls in winter. 
 
The building of the northernmost mosque in the world in Norilsk is in an abandoned state, superomsk.ru reports. In the mosque listed in the Guinness Book of Records, there is no electricity and the heating system of the building is out of order.
 
The mosque, opened in 1998, was built by Midekhad Bekmeyev, an ethnic Tatar and Norilsk native now residing in the Black Sea city of Sochi, nearly 4,000 km away. The mosque was built following a unique architectural project: instead of the traditional rounded form, the minaret is quadrangular. This supposedly allows to keep the heat in the building and protects against winds as in such walls, the bricks do not freeze and they are more resistant to wind loads. 
 
However, now, when there is neither electricity nor heating, these architectural solutions do not help. The reason for the freezing of the building, the media reports, is a ragged cable under the ground. 
 
The Imam is sure that the cable was damaged as a result of the work of Liquidator, a company, which in the neighborhood of the Norilsk mosque, is demolishing an emergency building of the former Institute of the Far North.
 
As a result, the Norilsk Muslims and the Omsk Muftiyat Mission remained without a house for prayers.
 
“There are many Muslims, but few come to the mosque. They work all day and by the evening they are normally tired,” he said. About 500 to 600 people typically show for Friday prayers.
 
According to estimates the city is home to about 50,000 Muslims — just under one-quarter of the region’s population of about 210,000. Most are from Azerbaijan and the Russian republic of Dagestan and work as traders or construction workers.
 
The population is getting smaller. People are leaving as the monthly wage is no longer enough to live comfortably. Not only Muslims are leaving: Norilsk’s total population is dropping by about 5,000 people annually.
 
Norilsk is the world's northernmost industrial city in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, located above the Arctic Circle. The city was named among the world’s 10 most polluted places by independent environmental action group The Blacksmith Institute in 2006. Its main employer, Norilsk Nickel, is investing heavily in cutting emissions.
 
 

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