Christians and Muslims rebuild Mosul, the city destroyed by ISIS

“Reviving the Spirit of Mosul” is a project, spearheaded by UNESCO, to rebuild the city that ISIS destroyed in 2014 and that Pope Francis will visit on March 7.


OMAR TAQA
Deputy Coordinator, UNESCO
“One of the objectives of the project is reflected in the very name of the initiative:“ revive the spirit of Mosul ”; not only rebuilding the buildings, but also supporting the community that ISIS tried to destroy.

The initiative started in 2019, in collaboration with the Iraqi government and the United Arab Emirates. See the rehabilitation of important buildings, including the Al Nouri Mosque, the Al-Hadba Minaret, the Al-Tahera Syrian Catholic Church and the Al-Saa’a Latin Church.

A thorough process that includes the removal of debris, the establishment of security, evaluation of the stability of the structures and the documentation of the original parts.

An example of this is the team that works in the Al-Nouri mosque. There, more than 40,000 bricks, some 5,600 tons of rubble and some 20 improvised explosive devices were collected.

OMAR TAQA
Deputy Coordinator, UNESCO
“Most of the explosive devices were placed inside the walls. ISIS removed the plaster, removed the stone from the mosque wall, dug about 50 centimeters to place the improvised explosive devices, and replaced the stone and plaster. That way no one would know if there is a bomb or not ”.

The project has attracted many of the former inhabitants, Muslims and Christians who lived together until ISIS expelled them.

OMAR TAQA
Deputy Coordinator, UNESCO
“For years they lived in peace, that’s why they encourage people to work on this project. For example, many Muslims work in the churches and there are also Christians who work in the mosque ”.

More than 400 people have been hired to work on the different works. It is an effort to create employment opportunities and restore a good rhythm of life to the local community.

Through teamwork and the experience of engineers, archaeologists and architects, mosques and churches should be finished by 2023. Each brick placed represents a granite to revive the spirit of Mosul.

 

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