Jerusalem’s significance in Arab history, and particularly to Islam, attracted several wealthy women to the city. Women from ruling or wealthy families were able to use their position in society to undertake acts of welfare and charity and restructure very remarkable buildings.
The Uthmaniyya School (1440-1441 AD/ 844 H):
Directly to the left of the al-Mathara (purification) Gate entrance of the Aqsa Mosque is the façade of the Uthmaniyya School, located between the door of Suq al-Qattanin and the Ashrafiyya School.
The Uthmaniyya was funded and built by Asfahan Khatun, the daughter of Prince Muhammad.
The school is accessed through a door located on Bab al-Mathara Street and has a beautifully decorated northern façade. The entrance leads to the transitional dirka (vestibule after entrance) and on to a courtyard and a burial room. There is a prayer niche in a lower level room, known as the
Lower Mosque, while the large hall that overlooks al-Aqsa Mosque is known as the Upper Mosque. The school is currently the residence of the al-Fityani family and cannot be viewed from the inside. The school also sits above the controversial Israeli excavation tunnel that has caused major damage to the building. Many complaints have been submitted to international institutions such as UNESCO.
For further information about this site or getting an illustrative map or directions you can visit: EnjoyJerusalem.com