Date :Friday, November 2nd, 2018 | Time : 16:24 |ID: 76567 | Print

Iraq begins reconstruction of ISIS-wrecked Mosul Churches

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SHAFAQNA Iraqi authorities launched a campaign to reconstruct the churches that destroyed by the Daesh terrorist group during its takeover of Mosul.

“The local government is making efforts to start the reconstruction of dozens of churches destroyed by Daesh’s terrorist gangs, along with ensuring the return of displaced Christians to their areas in the right side (western side) of Mosul,” said Nineveh Governor Nawfal Al-Aakoub in a statement that Anadolu Agency obtained a copy of.

Al-Aakoub added that the engineering companies in the Nineveh Municipality would begin the reconstruction of the oldest and largest church, The Immaculate Church, inside the ancient city of Mosul that Daesh had destroyed.

“Daesh combatants had destroyed and ruined 15 churches and monasteries in Mosul in its eastern and western sides”, Yonadam Kanna, head of Al-Rafidain Christian bloc told Anadolu Agency.

“The total number of churches that had been destroyed and remarkably affected during Daesh’s takeover of the whole of Nineveh are 40,” he added.

Mosul Is Completely Destroyed

Mosul is a living symbol of the multifaceted identity of Iraq, and one of the oldest cities in the world; it is at the crossroads of the Middle East and bears witness to the wealth of civilizations that crossed the region over centuries. The archaeological site of Nimrud, the Museum of Mosul, the Nabi Younes Shrine and many other sites there have been targeted for intentional destruction.

Iraqi people fled Mosul and the rest of Nineveh province in 2014, when Daesh took control of wide swathes of Iraq in the same year.

The true number of the lives lost in the battle against ISIS here is not known, but the Associated Press reported nearly 10,000 civilian deaths; the UN found the figure to be 2,521 at a minimum. Nearly 700,000 from Mosul remain displaced. So the old city, once Mosul’s economic center and beating heart, became a burial chamber.

Fifteen neighborhoods were razed to the ground; coalition airstrikes destroyed all five bridges across the Tigris, and power plants, factories and water treatment plants were looted and burned.

Much of west Mosul seems frozen in time

Much of west Mosul seems frozen in time. Furniture and concrete spills out of blasted buildings into the narrow streets. Drivers cross the Tigris on two temporary bridges and swerve to dodge craters in the roads. Corpses are still buried in the rubble.

According to Asien Hamza, the manager of Nineveh governorate’s reconstruction committee, three-quarters of Mosul’s roads, almost all of its bridges, and 65 percent of its electrical network, have been destroyed.

The old city is completely destroyed,” says Ahmed Saleh al-Jabouri in may, Mosul’s assistant municipality director, “I don’t know how much it will cost to rebuild Mosul, but it will be billions of dollars.” The municipality alone owes $7m dollars, he says, including unpaid salaries for street cleaners.

Abdul Kader Sinjari, the deputy governor of Nineveh, says “Every factory was destroyed, and the ones that weren’t destroyed were looted – so how can we make Mosul a business-orientated city again?”

When Iraqi forces pushed ISIS out of their last urban stronghold in Mosul, across the city, volunteers began to clean streets, libraries and universities – to reinvigorate a city that had been suppressed under ISIS.

Much of the reconstruction is currently being done in east Mosul by individuals working on their own homes. A few-thousand volunteers, including Ammar’s group, are helping clean debris from the roads and important buildings, including hospitals. Critical services are already coming online and markets throughout the liberated areas are crowding with people trying to get back to their daily lives, The Atlantic reported.

This is my city,” says Ali Nazm, 29, from the backseat of a car as the hulking ruins of Mosul University flash by. He is one of many volunteers who took to the streets to help with the clear-up efforts after the fighting stopped. “If I don’t clean it, who will?”

Forced to quit his studies and sell watches to make a living, he cried when he heard that the terrorist group had torched the university’s library ahead of their retreat. He joined a group of volunteers in clearing the wreckage last April, even while the war still raged on across the river. They salvaged books from the ruined library, and began shifting them to a new temporary library. Volunteers also cleaned up the city’s public buildings so that people could return to work and school, THE GUARDIAN mentioned.

Rebuilding Mosul requires international partners

Rebuilding Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, will require many years, many billions of dollars, and deep coordination between government agencies and international partners like the United Nations Development Program or the German NGO Rebuild Iraq Recruitment Program, which support various reconstruction efforts.

This will have a serious impact on the fates of millions of people, Iraq’s economy, and its future stability, and may well lay the groundwork the creation of future militant uprisings.

Destruction is nothing new for Iraq, a country whose history is marred by cyclical conflict.

Ernesto Ottone-Ramirez, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture, pointed out that the international community has the responsibility to support the Iraqi people in the reconstruction and recovery of Iraq, and that the first signs are already positive. “Last April in Baghdad, UNESCO and the United Arab Emirates signed a historic partnership for the reconstruction of Mosul, which includes rebuilding the iconic Great Mosque of Al Nuri and its leaning Al-Hadba minaret. This pioneering partnership is a message of hope that Iraq’s future will be shaped with its young women and men as agents of reconstruction and change in a prosperous, inclusive, reconciled and open society.”

 

Read more from Shafaqna:
IT’S UNCLEAR WHETHER CHRISTIANS WILL RETURN TO LIBERATED MOSUL        

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