In 2018, UNESCO and the UAE partnered under the “Revive the Spirit of Mosul” intiative to rehabilitate and reconstruct some of Mosul’s most important cultural and religious heritage.
The project focusses on three key sites: Al Nouri Mosque Complex, Al Tahera Syriac Catholic Church, and Al Saa’a Church, as well as the creation of a new museum.
The UAE committed $50.4 million to rebuild and restore the Al Nouri Mosque over a five-year period.
Following the historic visit of Pope Francis to the UAE in October 2019, the restoration of Al-Tahira and Al Saa’a church were included in the project.
The initiative seeks to empower Moslawis (Mosul residents) and Iraqis by providing 1,000 training and employment opportunities. As of mid-2021, 600 Iraqis were employed, and the project is expected to exceed its hiring target.
Women make up 30% of the engineers employed for the supervision and assessment of buildings.
The initiative prioritizes community engagement, with Moslawis involved at every stage through awareness-raising campaigns, consultation cycles, and participatory activities.
The initiative also has a key focus on sustainability and guaranteeing the project has a long-lasting positive effect on Mosul’s economy and tourism sector.
Meeting project beneficiaries
Those wishing to learn more about reconstruction efforts should contact UNESCO or the UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth.
In certain circumstances it may be possible to organize meetings with architects, engineers, and workers at the different sites in Mosul.
Meetings with local residents of Mosul can also be facilitated.
The liberation of Mosul
In 2014, Mosul fell to Daesh who declared a caliphate in the city.
Prior to the capture of Mosul, it was known as a crossroads for culture, religion and tolerance for thousands of years.
About 65 percent of the historic city was destroyed under Daesh, including the Al-Nouri Complex and Al-Hadba Minaret.
The campaign to recapture Mosul began in 2016 and ended with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi formally declaring victory in July 2017.