This is unheard of.
Masjid Al Aqsa in Jerusalem caught on fire last night, the same time as the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
And barely anyone is talking about it.
Al Aqsa is the third-holiest site in Islam, visited by millions of Muslims and non-Muslims every year as a kind of pilgrimage. The structure has stood for over 2,000 years in time and has always been looked at with the utmost respect and awe.
The entire city of Jerusalem pivots on the ideals of three faiths, Christianity, Islam and Judaism. For members of all faiths, the city remains extremely holy and religiously significant.
The fire broke out in the guard’s room, outside of the roof of the worship area, the Marwani Prayer room and was allegedly caused by children fooling around. Luckily, the fire was not too large and was successfully handled with little damage left behind. However, the Israeli police intend on opening an investigation into the matter.
Videos of the fire were spreading on social media, showing smoke and flames in the sky as seen by residents of the city.
طواقم الإطفاء تخمد حريقاً اندلع على سطح المصلى المرواني في المسجد الأقصى. pic.twitter.com/CVx8X7nx4N
— المركز الفلسطيني للإعلام (@PalinfoAr) April 15, 2019
allah please protect masjid al aqsa, a beautiful palestinian historic site, a significant structure of the palestinian fight for liberation, and a sacred arab/muslim site. it caught on fire today, fortunately nobody was hurt and it was contained without doing much damage
— vodkat | TOMOE DAY (@hazawasayo) April 16, 2019
Fire today in the roof of a portion of the Masjid al-Aqsa compound (Marwani Mosque). May Allah protect it and all of the places devoted to His worship. https://t.co/5nMY7dzHAC https://t.co/Xmq7PdV4j4
— Sikander Hashmi (@kanataimam) April 16, 2019
it was a minor fire happening outside the mosque and was quickly contained. and masjid al-aqsa has always been at the center of the arab/israeli strife. it's also nowhere near as famous as art + historical site as the notre dame. people tend to connect to what's familiar to them
— asole grey (@asolegrey) April 16, 2019
Masjid Al Aqsa is almost a 1000 years old & is the 3rd holiest site in Islam. It was also on fire today, as was the #NotreDameCathedral, but thankfully it has been contained. Eerie coincidence…#NotreDame #NotreDameFire https://t.co/EiN8kbfLsa
— basith 🎧 (@abasithh) April 16, 2019
Unfortunately, an even larger fire took form in Paris, France at the same time.
The Notre Dame was completely ablaze in flames as the entire city stood and watched as the 700-year-old historical building lost significant parts of its body.
Notre-Dame Cathedral burns: five facts https://t.co/lE06rpVe9r pic.twitter.com/yZueTaqDIZ
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) April 16, 2019
Update: Notre Dame fire completely extinguished – Paris firefighters https://t.co/8rW8dHmDkc pic.twitter.com/IrEwPGtsff
— RT (@RT_com) April 16, 2019
Luckily the fire though fatal was put out and handled by Paris firefighters. Unfortunately, the damage was done.
Incredible picture from inside Notre Dame https://t.co/slMFH6dyad pic.twitter.com/6tV8GqW7X0
— Matthew Garrahan (@MattGarrahan) April 16, 2019
It was absolutely horrific but even worse now knowing that two holy sites were burned last night. Of course, the fire in Paris was massive, taking away from the conversation of Al Aqsa but now with the information at hand, this kind of situation is unheard of and possibly unprecedented.
Either way, people all over the world are horrified at the events of last night.
Praying for both #NotreDameCathedral and #MasjidAlAqsa. Both of them happened. Both should be acknowledged.
— moonchild (@C09Haikal) April 16, 2019
there's just so much tragedy happening today… first the notre dame, now masjid al-aqsa… what's going on, world?
— Lauren Chai (@laurcjq) April 16, 2019
Yesterday was not a good day for beautiful architecture 😪 Notre Dame and Masjid Al-Aqsa caught fire
— Tiger Lily (@hanxkiara) April 16, 2019
Some are visibly upset at the fact that the burning went unnoticed as compared to Notre Dame.
i just learnt that the masjid al-aqsa was on fire too. it’s a mosque of extreme importance in Islam and is almost 1000 years old. thankfully the fire has been suppressed and things are better now.
but not one person has talked about it or offered condolences and that says a lot.
— luna 🍒 (@sherpace) April 16, 2019
the fact that masjid al-aqsa also caught on fire yesterday and no one is talking about it says a lot. smh.
— ✰ 𝐫𝐡𝐨𝐝𝐚 ✰ (@maeepilapil) April 16, 2019
Instead of writing notre dame you should write masjid al aqsa :/
— dee (@__Danah7) April 16, 2019
Masjid Al Aqsa, Jerusalem also caught fire same time as Notre Dame. You wanna extend your condolences that way too? Or does that not belong to human heritage? Maybe its not tragic enough? https://t.co/JS7WGQlZlp
— Blinding Light (@smurfmyhair) April 16, 2019
At this point in time, however, two hugely important structures of the world were harmed. Luckily, one not as bad as the other. None-the-less, instead of picking and choosing prejudices at a time like this, it is important that we find the common thread of grief among all of us.
Whether you had a personal connection to either of these places or not, they both still stand tall even after the flames engulfed them. If you ask me we can learn a lesson or two from these pieces of history.
Have you heard of the fire at Al Aqsa? Notre Dame? What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.
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Cover photo source:Kashmir Reader/@PalestinePost24 Via Twitter