The Nur Astana mosque in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, on the left bank of the River Ishim is the largest in Central Asia, with room for five thousand worshippers inside and another two thousand outside (presumably only in summer).
The glass, concrete and granite structure is 40 meters (131 feet) high, symbolizing the age of the Prophet Muhammad when he received the revelations; the minarets are 63 meters (207 feet) high, the age of Muhammad when he died. Unlike other left-bank buildings, the government did not pay for construction. The mosque was a gift from the Emir of Qatar.
Postcards from Stanland: Journeys in Central Asia (Ohio University Press, 2016) is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million and other online retailers. Read excerpts at www.davidhmould.com (Travel Blogs) or Facebook /PostcardsFromStanland/ or view readings and interviews on YouTube