Huda Jassim (Baghdad)
The UAE does not only build stone or rebuild, but also promotes the values of tolerance and coexistence in the city of Mosul, after years of fear and terrorism at the hands of ISIS, this is confirmed by Samer, who works at the Al-Nouri Mosque site as part of the “Revive the Spirit of Mosul” initiative. The young man in his thirties, who works in the field of antiquities restoration, in the Iraqi city, which is about 400 kilometers from the capital, Baghdad, says, “He was unemployed before he had the opportunity to work in restoring the monuments around the Al-Nuri Mosque, along with more than 1,000 other young men. They were given job opportunities in the project to revive the spirit of Mosul.”
Mosul is one of the oldest cities in the world, and for thousands of years it was a strategic crossing point and a bridge linking the north to the south and the east to the west. Due to its strategic location, it became the seat of a large number of people from diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, religions and religious beliefs. However, this unique location made it a target for organizing “ISIS”, where the organization took control of it and made it its headquarters before its defeat. Samer added to Al-Ittihad, “I am a Muslim and I am currently working, within the project, in the restoration of a historic church, which was destroyed after the departure of the terrorist organization ISIS from Mosul.”
He believes that coexistence and peace appear in the best form between Muslims, Christians and other sects, as they rebuild their city, in which reconstruction has reached very high rates.
At a distance of 5 km, the UAE is cooperating with UNESCO to rebuild historical landmarks, including the Great Al-Nuri Mosque and Al-Hadba Minaret in the city of Mosul, as part of the “Revive the Spirit of Mosul” initiative. The “Revive the Spirit of Mosul” project is being held in the city of Mosul, which terrorism tried to erase from the map of historical cities, which is one of the oldest, and which was controlled by the terrorist organization “ISIS” in 2014, before it was expelled from it after fierce battles in 2017.
Amin Al-Fanash, mayor of the city of Mosul, praises, in his speech to Al-Ittihad, the role of the UAE and UNESCO in the reconstruction of the region, especially the Al-Nuri Mosque and its surrounding landmarks and historical buildings dating back hundreds, some of which are thousands of years old.
Al-Fanash indicates that the reconstruction operations in the city of Mosul, with its old and new sides, are progressing in full swing, pointing out that work on the “bridges” that connect the streets are in its final stages, and confirmed that 80 percent of the work has been completed so far.
Al-Fanash added: The city is recovering after it was completely destroyed during the three years of its occupation by the terrorist organization ISIS. Samer, the antiquities restorer, says: The UAE is the first country in the world to help Iraq rebuild the historic churches in the city of Mosul, considering this a clear belief in tolerance and the necessity of coexistence, and in order to build people according to the values of peace.
The antiquities restorer affirms that UNESCO is doing a great job with the support of the UAE, pointing to discoveries dating back to the Islamic Atabeg era. He added, “We are working to show Islamic treasures as well, to be a witness to the greatness of this historic city that terrorism wanted to erase.”
He says that one of the goals of the “Revive the Spirit of Mosul” project is to communicate with the people of the city as they are the nucleus of any reconstruction, and to help them overcome the ordeal of terrorism they have gone through.
For his part, Alaa Muhammad, the media advisor to UNESCO in Mosul, told Al-Ittihad that “on the 21st of this month, the media lenses will document an important tour of the Al-Nuri Mosque, its hunchback minaret, the clock church, the Al-Ikhlas School and the historic residential houses around it.” As the most important areas that are being worked on within the “Revive the Spirit of Mosul” initiative, with Emirati support. Muhammad explained that UNESCO’s work in Iraq included many activities, pointing out that the Emirati support for the organization’s work in Mosul, in particular, restored life and intellectual and cultural activities, which made the people of Mosul proud of what has been achieved so far, hoping that their city would become Its most beautiful. The mayor of the city confirms that the construction milestones are very clear, and that the coming months will witness a great architectural growth.
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