Iraq wants to bring tourists back to Mosul
UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay met a few days ago at UNESCO Headquarters with Iraqi Minister of Culture Abdulameer Al-Dafar Hamdani and Nineveh Provincial Governor Mansour Al-Mareed to review the progress of the project « Reviving Mosul’s Spirit ».
This flagship initiative, launched by UNESCO in 2018 with the support of the Government of Iraq and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, focuses on the human dimension of the reconstruction of the city around three main axes: the rehabilitation and reconstruction of damaged or destroyed cultural heritage, the rehabilitation of the education system and the revitalization of cultural life.
» We are committed to working together. We agreed on a solid timetable and action plan, » the Director-General said at the end of the meeting, referring in particular to the reconstruction project funded by the United Arab Emirates, which includes the Al-Nuri Mosque and its minaret as well as two churches.
She indicated that consolidation work on the remaining structures and demining of the mosque and minaret site is expected to be completed in the coming weeks and reconstruction could begin in the first half of 2020. The latter had been severely damaged during Daech’s occupation of the city.
» We are aware of the difficulties, but the people of Mosul deserve our efforts, » said Audrey Azoulay, who recalled that « Mosul was the symbol of diversity and tolerance before the conflict. The spirit of Mosul is an example and an objective for the rest of Iraq« .
« The needs are considerable, but with the help of UNESCO and the international community, we can meet the challenge. We will work as a united team », said the Iraqi Minister of Culture.
« Inform the population by showing them that this is a concrete project, » said the Governor of Nineveh Province, who thanked UNESCO for its efforts to revive Mosul’s history and spirit.