In 1969, the minbar of Saladin was destroyed when the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem was attacked by a fanatic. Originally installed in 1187, the minbar ranked among the world’s most precious works of art.
The desire to reconstruct the minbar in all its original detail prompted a resurgence of traditional Islamic artisanship and artistry in Jordan, with the help and support of HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH Prince Ghazi of Jordan. Artisans were brought in from all across the Islamic world to painstakingly recreate the intricate woodwork of the minbar, a process that took over thirty years. This excerpt of the film Stairway to Heaven is narrated by Kenneth Branagh.