Masses surge to Dakar for inauguration of Senegal’s mega-mosque

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Worshippers are seen waiting outside the Great Mosque of the Mourides on September 27, 2019 in Dakar, ahead of its inauguration. (AFP)
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Worshippers are seen waiting in front of the Great Mosque of the Mourides on September 27, 2019 in Dakar, ahead of its inauguration. (AFP)
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Worshippers are seen waiting outside the Great Mosque of the Mourides on September 27, 2019 in Dakar, ahead of its inauguration. (AFP)
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Worshippers enter the Great Mosque of the Mourides on September 27, 2019 in Dakar, ahead of its inauguration. (AFP)
Updated 27 September 2019

Masses surge to Dakar for inauguration of Senegal’s mega-mosque

  • Huge traffic jams several kilometers (miles) long built up on highways leading to the site, where some people had starting camping out two days before the long-awaited ceremonies
  • The mosque is capable of hosting 30,000 worshippers

DAKAR: Hundreds of thousands of people from across Senegal converged on the capital Dakar on Friday for the inauguration of a huge mosque, claimed to be the largest in West Africa.
Muslims arrived by bus, car or on foot in the poor district of Bopp, home to the new Massalikul Jinaan mosque, capable of hosting 30,000 worshippers.
Huge traffic jams several kilometers (miles) long built up on highways leading to the site, where some people had starting camping out two days before the long-awaited ceremonies.
Thousands of women in colorful robes, men dressed in festive white along with children packed the streets.
“It is a triumph for all Muslims,” said Malick Mar, a mechanic who was among the worshippers.
When the mosque guards opened the mosque’s doors, there was a frenzied rush and worried police used electric batons to try to restore order. Unable to get inside, thousands of faithful unrolled their prayer mats on the mosque’s outside esplanade.
Work on the mosque began a decade ago on a swampy six-hectare (14-acre) area of land donated by the government of the 90-percent Muslim nation, and the inauguration has been preceded by an outpouring of national and religious fervor.


World’s oldest man dies in Japan at 112

Updated 25 February 2020

World’s oldest man dies in Japan at 112

  • Chitetsu Watanabe, who was born on March 5, 1907 in Niigata, north of Tokyo, died on Sunday at his nursing home
  • The news came less than two weeks after Watanabe was officially recognized by Guinness World Records

TOKYO: A Japanese man recently named the world’s oldest living male has died aged 112, a local official said Tuesday.

Chitetsu Watanabe, who was born on March 5, 1907 in Niigata, north of Tokyo, died on Sunday at his nursing home in the same prefecture, the official said.

The news came less than two weeks after he was officially recognized by Guinness World Records.

Watanabe, who had five children, said the secret to longevity was to “not get angry and keep a smile on your face.”

He admitted a penchant for sweets such as custard pudding and ice cream.

The oldest man in Japan is now Issaku Tomoe, who is 110 years old, according to Jiji Press, although it was not clear if Tomoe holds the title globally.

The oldest living person is also Japanese, Kane Tanaka, a 117-year-old woman.

Japan has one of the world’s highest life expectancies and has been home to several people recognized as among the oldest humans to have ever lived.

They include Jiroemon Kimura, the longest-living man on record, who died soon after his 116th birthday in June 2013.

The oldest verified person — Jeanne Louise Calment of France — died in 1997 at the age of 122, according to Guinness.