Unified calls to prayer start today

The Ministry of Religious Endowments will begin today the roll-out of a scheme to unify the call to prayer in Cairo, after pilot tests for the plan proved a success.

The ministry’s undersecretary for mosques, Fouad Abdel Azim, told Al-Masry Al-Youm the new system will be applied first in the districts of Heliopolis and Nasr City, moving then to Helwan and al-Haram, and eventually to the rest of Cairo. At a later point the scheme will be introduced in Alexandria too.

Abdel Azim said 12 muezzins have been selected to issue the azan (call to prayer) in 50 mosques in Nasr City and Heliopolis, based on the quality of their voices.

Minister of Religious Endowments Hamdi Zaqzouq announced in July that plans for a “unified system for calls to prayer” would be instituted at the beginning of Ramadan, saying that the aim of the scheme is “to put an end to the war of the microphones and the current chaos.”

As for the fate of Cairo’s hundreds of muezzins, who will no longer have responsibility for issuing the call to prayer, the minister has given assurances that they will be promoted, rather than left to work as security guards or cleaners.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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