The Chronicle Gambia

ISECO to Enlist Pachonki Mosque as World Islamic Heritage Site

The International Scientific Educational and Cultural Organization (ISECO) has earmarked Sami Pachonki Mosque, in the Central River Region as part of World Islamic Heritage Sites, according to the Director General of the National Council for Arts and Culture Hassoum Ceesay.

Ceesay made this revelation at Sami Pachonki on Thursday where he said ISECO has been following The Gambia for the past three years to identify Islamic heritage sites in the country prompting the identification of Sami Pachonki Mosque.

“The reason why we came here today is to engage with the people of Pachonki on the need to enlist this mosque in ISECO  Islamic Cultural Heritage Site,” said Hassoum. “ISECO has been following us for three years now to identify Islamic cultural sites in the country and without doubt, Sami Pachonki Mosque is one of the sites we have identified to be enlisted among World Islamic Cultural Sites.”

Hassoum Ceesay with Sami Pachonki mosque leaders

The International Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISECO) was launched in 2016 as an independent non-profit organization based in Malaysia. It claims to support and develop the educational, cultural and scientific sectors of the Muslim world in general and mainly in underprivileged areas.

According to Hassoum Ceesay, the Sami Pachonki Mosque meets all the requirements in order to be registered, adding that once enlisted the mosque will be part of the Islamic Heritage Sites and derive series of benefits from the ISECO.

“Once this mosque is registered ISESCO can provide assistance in terms of repairs and maintenance, providing training for gatekeepers of the mosque, as well as protecting and preserving the site for posterity.”

Pachonki Mosque was built in 1840 and this year marked the 172nd year anniversary since its construction. The mosque was built out of mud and rheum palm, with wooden framed windows and doors crafted by local wood-workers.

Foday Omar Ceesay was the first Imam of the mosque and since his demise thirteen other Imams have served the community.

Local residents have expressed joy over the decision, citing “worshipping, farming and rearing of animals are what depicts the true colors of the people of Sami Pachonki”.

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