Tucked away in a little piece of nowhere in Sindh Province, Pakistan is a wonderful piece of history. I was bouncing along a dusty track, past countless cotton fields just outside of Sukkur,
when my driver informed me there was a very old mosque not too far away. A history buff at heart, I urged him to take us there.
Turning a corner it came into view.
I couldnt get out of the car quick enough to go and have a look. My driver had explained to me that it was the first mosque ever built in what is now Pakistan, although I can’t seem to confirm this. A plaque covered in locally made blue tiles explained the history of the mosque. The Muslim General Muhammed Bin Gasim had conquered this previously Christian area and built the first mosque here, in 711 AD.
After a few minutes a wizened gentleman, who appeared to have the same age as the ruin, appeared like The Shopkeeper from Mr. Benn, out of nowhere. He invited us into his home, to give us a history of the place.
I wasn’t allowed to photo either him or his home, suffice to say it was a ramshackle affair, basically bits of wood holding up some polythene sheeting. He told us he was the curator of this living museum, although I suspect this was a self conferred title. After the traditional green tea he pulled out a small plastic see through bag, containing around a dozen round objects of differing sizes.
On looking, they were coins from a time gone by, and he told us that he’d collected them from around the site over the 40 years he’d been the curator.
There isn’t much that remains of the mosque, but it was a fantastic couple of hours spent walking round history.