Muslim call to prayer on loudspeakers disturbs tourists, Egypt archaeologist says

Muslim call to prayer on loudspeakers disturbs tourists, Egypt archaeologist says
2 min read
06 November, 2022
Former antiquities minister Zahi Hawass said the calls to prayer shouldn't be amplified on microphones to high levels as they disturb tourists.
Egypt has attempted to regulate the calls to prayer from mosques [Getty]

Egypt should protect tourists from being disturbed by the Islamic call to prayer, top Egyptian archaeologist and former antiquities minister Zahi Hawass has said.

Speaking on Egypt's Balad TV, Hawass questioned the need for amplifying the call to prayer - known in Arabic as the adhan - on loudspeakers outside of mosques.

"I was intrigued when [TV host] Ibrahim Eissa spoke on the history of the adhan, and that it was not done outside of the mosque," Hawass said, referring to a recent television show in which Eissa also criticised the use of loudspeakers.

"I stayed once at [Marriott] Mena House, as I had a lecture in the morning, and I was awoken by the adhan. The tourists staying there were also woken up. To be honest there is nothing in the religion that says that we need all this noise. Why?" he added.

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"Were are a country of tourism, so me must attend to the comfort of our tourists," Hawass said.

Alongside its famed ancient temples, Egypt has over 130,000 mosques and is home to numerous medieval mosques and Islamic sites.  Its capital city, Cairo, has one of the world's largest concentrations of Islamic monuments and mosques, from which the calls to prayer can be heard five times daily.

Egyptian authorities have attempted to regulate alleged noise pollution caused by the calls to prayer by unifying the calls.

The project involves assigning equipment to mosques which do not allow for sound levels to be changed.