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Two Million Lights Illuminate Mecca's New Clock, Puts Big Ben to Shame

face of the new clock in mecca
Maybe you heard the (literally) big news yesterday that Mecca, the Islamic holy city in Saudi Arabia, has built a clock that will rival Greenwich's classically Euro-imperialist time standard. Putting aside our nation's ad nauseum demagoguery against the 1.57-billion-strong, worldwide faith of Islam, you have to admit that the new clock is quite an awesome achievement. Islam as a religion is a stickler for time, exemplified by salah, the five-time-per-day call to prayer, and the alternate timeline of its calendar that follows the lunar cycle. The fact that the Islam-centric clock will begin ticking today, the beginning of Ramadan, should really come as no surprise.

What should shock you into awe is the two million LED lights that illuminate the four faces of the tower, which stands over Mecca's Grand Mosque. At nearly 1,983 feet, the clock will be the world's second tallest building, behind the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. (Future plans include a golden crescent moon sitting atop the tower, which would put the structure's height at around 1,947 feet nearly 2,000 feet) Around 21,000 white and green lights, fitted at the top of the clock and visible for over 18 miles, will signal the daily calls to prayer. Big Ben, perhaps the world's most famous clock, might have reason to worry about losing its crown. [From: Foreign Policy and Yahoo! News]

Update: We've seen varying reports over the eventual height of the crescent-topped tower, and the height isn't verifiable until built.

Tags: architecture, big ben, BigBen, building, clock, ClockTower, Greenwich, GreenwichMeanTime, islam, led, mecca, ramadan, SaudiArabia, top

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