From Dubai to Mosul: A Shared Responsibility to Restore the Rich History of Mosul

It is our shared responsibility to restore the rich history of Mosul and to encourage the youth to deepen the understanding of their culture through the power of literature.

Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development

A few months ago, I asked Sultan Al Qassemi to connect me with Juma Al Majid Center for Culture & Heritage to ask them to support the Central Library of the University of Mosul with books. He did and put us in contact. I approached them; they offered a generous list of books.
After a few days, we had to select the books we need from that list. The list was sent to Mosul; the library staff selected 271 books.
Now I have to ship the books to Mosul! How? I can’t; it was so expensive!
I thought of contacting Nancy Jamal, Official @Coalition Representative to ask her for support, as she was always of great support to Mosul and its people. She offered to ask around, but it took a little bit of time. I didn’t want to push, and Juma al-Majid centre was asking me how I am gonna pick the books!
After a little while of hesitation, I decided to contact H.E Noura Al Kaabi U.A.E. Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development.
“We have some books that need to be shipped from Dubai to Mosul, can you help us”? I said.
“With my pleasure” she quickly replied.
To be honest, I was a little bit surprised. I know there is this kind of protocols of communications with ministers and officials that I didn’t want to break them. But her! She responded as a friend. She said we are friends. This made me very happy.
I received an email from her assistant telling me that they will happily want to ship the books to Mosul within the initiative Year of Tolerance 2019.
I directly connected them with Juma al-Majid centre, the communicated and coordinated.
They asked for a letter to the Iraqi commission of customs to exempt the books from taxes. I got a letter from the Central Library and sent it back.
The books were packed, shipped and arrived within only one week!
To open the doors of Mosul to people from everywhere. Now we will always remember that H.E Noura AlKaabi helped us to resupply our library. The idea behind our books campaign is to create memories, to replace it with that of ISIS’s
That’s was my goal when I launched the campaign to revive the libraries of Mosul. Books aren’t my target, but the human connection, to reconnect Mosul with its international context again.
Our Books campaign is focusing on this kind of collaboration. The simple and fast mobilization of human efforts to avoid the bureaucracy and to focus more on the idea, not the objects.
In the end, Dear Sultan Al Qassemi, Noura AlKaabi and Juma al-Majid Center:
I can’t thank you enough, but you helped me prove that the idea of the simple and effective human mobilisation is possible.
Yours Sincerely
Omar of Mosul

In Pictures: The Revival Of Sham’un Al-Safa (Simon Peter) School in Old Mosul

Sham’un Al-Safa (Simon Peter) is one of the oldest official schools for Christian in Mosul established and attached to oldest church with the same name ( built circa 3rd century). The school was established in 1855 by Audishu V Khayyath (1827 – 1899) after he returned from Rome where he finished his studies in the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith.

The school was well known for its role to provide the Christian community of Mosul with modern education.

It was severely damaged during the battle to retake Mosul from ISIS. After the libration, an initiative by Young Muslim Mosulis was launched to revive the school, and after few days the school was completely recovered.

In the photos you can see how the school has revived and it is important to mention that such initiatives are not new or not a surprise for the Mosuli community that ISIS tried to destroy. Its coexistence is deep into the society of Mosul but even with that, we need to support more interaction and to convince the Christian to return back and contribute to the revival of Mosul.

I invite the Fr. Najeeb Michail the Archbishop of Mosul to call for a general congress for the leaders of different faiths in Mosul to sit together and discuss the future of Mosul to address the real problems in order to find a better social code between all the communities of Mosul and to contribute to the protection and preservation of our heritage.

Patriarch Abdisho V. KhayatJS.jpg
Chaldäisch Kath. Patriarch Abdisho V. Khayat
Audishu V Khayyath meets with Yazidi leaders in Mosul, c. 1895

Cinemas for Mosul: A call to the international community

We once enjoyed the cinemas in Mosul where we had 11 cinemas around the city that played a major role in enriching the cultural life of Mosul. Now, in 2019 no single cinema is left.

The cinemas we had: Hammurabi, Granada, Seville, Babylon, Hadba, the National theater, Al Sadun, Andalus, King Ghazi, King Faisal, and al Watan. All Cinemas stopped after 2003. Now is the time to reopen them. 
Some of the films projected in Mosul in the past: Gone with the wind, Zorba Le Grec, the Ugly American, Mother India, War and Peace, Miracle a Milan, the Bicycle thief, to Sir, with Love. And other Arab and western films. 
We deserve a cinema in Mosul, don’t we?

This is a call to the international community to help us restore our cultural life. Mosul should live a normal life as fighting terrorism is not just a military action but it requires deep understanding of the cultural roots of terrorism to tackle it down.

The revival of Mosul’s heritage will reveal keys to humanity’s resistance against violence and division. It will reveal that the only way to live together is by believing in diversity as a mosaic, where each distinct piece is integral to the revelation of the whole, where any missing piece will in the end rob all of their shared destiny. The protection andpromotion of this heritage in the contemporary culture will create safe spaces of communication between diverse groups of people. When you feel your identity is protected, you will act in a responsible way before the entire community. 

And, these are the things I want to see in Mosul: Cinemas, Theaters, Music Schools, Museums, Ballet schools and finally an Opera House. I dedicated my life to achieve these goals, if I couldn’t achieve them in my life, someone will continue. Oneday they will come true. #Mosul2019


Mosul to Chambord: #ReviveThespiritOfMosul

I had the privilege of representing my city Mosul on June 26 at the UNESCO conference “From Mosul To Chambord” within the UNESCO’s Flagship Initiative “Revive the Spirit of Mosul”. I addressed the need for cultural recovery for Mosul especially its youth. 

As the revival of Mosul’s heritage will reveal keys to humanity’s resistance against violence and division. It will reveal that the only way to live together is by believing in diversity as a mosaic, where each distinct piece is integral to the revelation of the whole, where any missing piece will in the end rob all of their shared destiny. The protection and promotion of this heritage in the contemporary culture will create safe spaces of communication between diverse groups of people. When you feel your identity is protected, you will act in a responsible way before the entire community.

My battle since June 2014 has been to reverse what ISIS has tried to implant in the consciousness of Mosul’s residents with the only weapon I have as a historian––writing history. The social, cultural and historical destruction wrought by the group will impact the city for centuries to come. Documenting history in such a context is a battle for knowledge: to develop the critical thinking capacity of the individual as a resistance to tyranny and to protect knowledge for the future. Now that ISIS has gone, I hope a more inclusive history of the city can be documented, one that’s been missing for many decades.

Despite all the destruction, human and tangible, there are many green shoots, signs of hope among the youth, who, in many cases are for the first time exploring the history of their city and its surroundings, places they never knew of or even thought to visit before! They need concrete support to grow this yearning into tangible actions that progress their lives and safeguard a better future. This makes UNESCO’s Revive the Spirit of Mosul initiative especially unique in its possibility to rise to the challenge and build cooperation directlywith the community in all its diversity, especially its young people.  

Mosul always survives. As the medieval geographer in the 11thcentury: “The city is a large and ancient one, fortified and imposing, and prepared against the strokes of adversity.” This I can only attest to again and again, the resilience of my city. 

À l’institut français de Mossoul, ICFI

Ayant remarqué que l’institut français à Mossoul ne tenait pas le rôle déterminant pour le rayonnement de la langue et la culture française, et pour promouvoir un pont entre Mossoul et la France. Nous nous demandons ce qui entrave l’ouverture et la fonctionnalité de l’institut français à Mossoul étant que la majorité de la jeunesse ressent cette volonté de s’investir dans l’épanouissement de l’institut français à Mossoul.
Nous vous appelons encore une fois à faire confiance à la ville et à sa jeunesse et d’ouvrir les portes de l’institut français au public en vous proposant des pannels d’activités culturels et artistiques en collaboration avec l’université de Mossoul ainsi que les jeunes artistes de la ville.
Nous souhaitons aussi et estimons que des cours de langue française ” fle ” seront une valeur ajoutée aux langues étrangères enseignées à Mossoul et qu’il serait d’un grand profit aux jeunes pour choisir un parcours universitaire.
À la fin je ne peux qu’ assurer la coopération des sécurités de la ville pour assurer de bonnes conditions au travail de l’institut français.

Veuillez agréer l’expression de mes sentiments les meilleurs. Omar Mohammed Fondateur de Mosul Eye (L’œil de Mossoul)

Goethe in Mosul: Ein neues Ost-West-Verständnis

Goethe in Mosul: Ein neues Ost-West-Verständnis


Schon seit Beginn der Menschheit wunderten die Menschen sich über sich und die Welt um sie herum. Sie konnten unmöglich erkennen, was in ihrem frühen Leben Osten (rechts) und was Westen (links) ist. Dann fanden sie es und begannen, dem Leben um sie herum Anweisungen zu geben. Einige von ihnen gingen nach Osten und andere nach Westen. Andere beschlossen, in der Mitte zu bleiben. Und von da an begannen die Anweisungen, unsere Beziehung zu definieren. Jahrhunderte vergingen und die Menschheit trug dazu bei, Definitionen der Richtungen der Welt festzulegen. Und hier war die Welt im Westen und Osten (mit all ihren unterschiedlichen Auffassungen und historische, soziale, wirtschaftliche und politische Ebenen, die den vermeintlichen zwei Richtungen hinzugefügt wurden).

Nur wenige Menschen entschieden sich für ein anderes Verständnis von Ost und West. Wahrscheinlich war einer von ihnen Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, der das Bedürfnis hatte, zu humanisieren, was Menschen entmenschlicht hatten. Das konnte er in seiner “westlichen” Umgebung nicht finden und fand er in Hafiz, dessen Worte ihn dazu inspirierten, ein erstaunliches Werk zu schreiben, das den deutschen Leser “orientalisierte”, und das war “West–östlicher Divan”.

Goethe verstand die Bedeutung des “Austauschs” und der Kommunikation zwischen den Kulturen. Ein Thema, das die Menschheit geschaffen hat, aber oft vergessen wurde. Aus diesem Grund fand die erste Begegnung zwischen Weidenholzer Josef und mir statt. Das erste Mal, als ich ihn getroffen hatte, habe auch die Worte von Hafiz gefühlt. Er erklärte sein Verständnis von den Ereignissen in Mosul. Ein Mann, der die Konsequenzen des Zweiten Weltkriegs erlebt hat, hat ein besonderes Verständnis dafür, wie wichtig es ist, die Gefühle in Goethes Gedichten und Worten wiederzubeleben. Heute war ich wieder in seinem Büro, um über unsere zukünftige Arbeit zu diskutieren, um Mosuls Jugendlichen zu helfen, ihr Leben und ihre Zukunft wiederzugewinnen.



Video: Mosul College of Medicine 2019 graduation

Mosul Medical College at the University of Mosul is proud to be the second oldest medical college in Iraq. It was established in July 1959 and enrolled some 30 medical students that September. During the academic year 1959–1960, the college was managed by the Ministry of Health. It was then incorporated into Baghdad University and remained so until April 1, 1967, when it was affiliated to and became one of the founding colleges of Mosul University. Since then the college has experienced an impressive growth in all areas of academic, community, and health services as well as international collaborations. The college is built over 12,500 square meters that are located in the northern part of Mosul City on the right bank of the Tigris River near the major teaching hospitals.

The academic year goes from September until the end of June followed by a two-month summer holiday. There is another 14-day holiday (spring vacation) after a mid-year examination in January. There is no tuition, as the college is funded by the central government and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: