Saudi Arabia will donate USD 118 million to Muslim-majority Bangladesh to construct 560 model mosques across the country, a media report said today. The decision to set up the mosques - categorised as A, B and C, depending on the facilities they would have - followed Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit in June last year to Saudi Arabia, where she met King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, the Dhaka Tribune reported. It cited an unnamed official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs saying that the model mosque project would be launched soon. The mosques are to be set up in every district, city corporation and upazila. The mosques will be able to accommodate at least 450,000 men and over 30,000 women for daily prayers, and will have lodging space for more than 2,000 foreign guests and libraries with room for more than 34,000 people. They will also be outfitted with cultural centres and cyclone centres.
The project aims to provide primary education to more than 150,000 children and conduct digital registrations for the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. The Saudi government has also agreed to donate money towards the establishment of a permanent campus for Islamic Arabic University in Keraniganj in Dhaka district, according to the report. Oil-rich Saudi Arabia, one of the world's most prominent Muslim nations, has been offering financial support to several countries to expand Islam.
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