Screening Room

Stairway to Heaven

In 1969, a Christian fanatic attacked the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. In the blaze that followed, the ornate minbar of Saladin (a raised platform reached by steps and used in Friday prayers) was destroyed. Installed in 1187, the minbar was one of the world's most precious works of art.
October 5, 2007


In 1969, a Christian fanatic attacked the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. In the blaze that followed, the ornate minbar of Saladin (a raised platform reached by steps and used in Friday prayers) was destroyed. Installed in 1187, the minbar was one of the world’s most precious works of art.

The Royal Family of Jordan, charged with the protection of the al-Aqsa mosque, decided that the minbar must be rebuilt. But there was a problem… no one knew how to do it. The skills that had produced the incredibly ornate set of wooden stairs had been lost to the ages. Besides that, only a few black and white photos remained as a reference.
Narrated by Kenneth Branagh and shot in London, Amman, Aleppo, Granada, Cairo and Istanbul, Stairway to Heaven chronicles the fascinating race to rediscover a lost art, recreate the Saladin minbar and restore the al-Aqsa mosque to its former glory.

Partners: West Park Pictures and Prince’s Charities Events distributed through NBD TV
Wrapped: September 2007
Length: 53 minutes
Rights available: Worldwide, excluding Middle East

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

Menu

Search