The entire 1,500 square meter roof and the 450 square meter eastern part of the Crusader era building, formerly used as a Women's Mosque, has now been completely revitalized by the Technical Office of the Jerusalem Revitalization Program for the Old City (JRP), implemented through a grant of $175,000 from the Arab Fund to Welfare Association.
The low-lying structure is actually a long two-aisled hall that has seen a variety of uses over the last millennium. Some time after Saladin's ousting of the Crusaders and liberation of the city, the building was divided, the eastern half into a Women's Mosque and the western half into an assembly hall for the adjacent Madrasa of Fakhr al-Din Mohammad (today's Islamic Museum), built in the fourteenth century. The Crusader era building has not seen major repair in centuries, and minor repairs which have been carried out have had only cosmetic effects, leaving the interior leaking, and chronically damp and humid. The restoration process of the former mosque will allow the building to serve as the new facility for al-Aqsa Library, currently housed in the cramped quarters of al-Madrasa al-Ashrafiya, also within the Haram.
Welfare Association Website. http://www.welfareassociation.org/. [Accessed January 9, 2006]
"Islamic Museum and Al-Aqsa Library." Museum With No Frontiers (MWNF) Website. http://www.discoverislamicart.org/pm_museum.php?id=Mus01;pa. [Accessed January 9, 2006]