Addressing the environmental problems of Mosul’s Islamic architecture

This is a very important book to understand the environmental conditions of Mosul’s Islamic architecture.

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To Put Mosul On The Silk Road Again

 In 1877 the term “Seidenstraße” (Die Seidenstrassen,
 literally “Silk Road”)
was coined by the German geographer, cartographer and explorer Ferdinand von Richthofen

A city from Iraq by Matrakci (Source)

Location: Once a fourishing industrial and commercial city, Mosul, in today’s Northern Iraq and the north’s major center for trade, industry and communications, was once a thriving city on the Silk Roads.

10th-century Muslim geographer al-Muqaddasi, described Mosul as

the metropolis of this region. It is a splendid city, beautifully built; the climate is pleasant, the water healthy. Highly renowned, and of great antiquity, it is possessed of excellent markets and inns, and is inhabited by many personages of account, and learned men; nor does it lack a high authority in the Traditions, or a celebrated doctor of the law. From here come provisions for Baghdad, and thither go the caravans of al-Rihab. It has, besides, parks, specialities, excellent fruits, very fine baths, magnificent houses, and good meats: all in all the town is thriving.”

Importance: Under the Abbasid Muslim dynasty, Mosul became a major economic hub on the Silk Road. From that point forward, Mosul continued to develop incredibly advanced techniques in the arts and fine goods production. It has given its name to the fine textile “Muslin”. 

The Blacas Ewer (629 AD), Shuja‘ b. Man‘a al-Mawsili. Jazira, Mosul. Photo © The Trustees of the British Museum, London

Key features: Beyond the Muslin weaving, Mosul also became famous for its fine metalwork and painting styles.. Those were only a few of the key industries that this great industrial centre was home to. Others included:

  • Crude Oil Production: Sources record crude oil production in Iraq where there were seepages on the eastern bank of the Tigris along the road to Mosul. Muslim travellers reported that it was produced on a large scale and was exported.
  • Textile Production: Mosul has always been celebrated as a weaving centre producing the finest of textiles. It’s textiles were especially famed.

(Sources and further reading 010203)

Famous Scholars: Those included the philosopher Bakr Kasim Al-Mawsili who authored an epistolary philosophical work entitled Fi’ al-Nafs; the 10thcentury astronomer and mathematician Al-Qabisi; and the infamous Opthalmologist Ammar Al-Mawsili.

Monstrously and Unbelievably Happy News: Saffarin (Repoussé and chasing) market is back to live in Old Mosul

When I saw the photos coming from the Saffarin Market (where the artisans of metalwork that belongs to the most famous school in the Middle East “Mosul School of Metalwork” a group of 13th-century metal craftsmen who were centred in Mosul, Iraq, and who for centuries to come influenced the metalwork of the Islāmic world from North Africa to eastern Iran.Under the active patronage of the Zangid dynasty ,the Mosul school developed an extraordinarily refined technique of inlay—particularly in silver—that far overshadowed the earlier work of the Sāmānids in Iran and of the Būyids in Iraq.

The market is now open again after the massive destruction of the recent battle to retake the city from ISIS. That’s makes me monstrously happy.

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

The Jewish Quarter: Local efforts to Rebuild the Tomb of Daniel in Old Mosul

In collaboration with the Sunni endowments administration and local funders, the reconstruction of the Tomb of Daniel has begun.

The the mosque is believed to be built over the tomb of prophet Daniel. It is located in the Jewish Quarter (Nowadays called Al Ahmadiyya). It was destroyed by ISIS in 2014. Before destruction, the shrine had a small green dome and underneath the dome, a sarcophagus draped with green cloth.

The Revival of Mar Behnam Monastery

The French organization “Fraternité en Irak” with funds from ALIPH have finished the reconstruction of one of the most important monasteries in Nineveh “Mar Behnam Monastery”.

Monastery of the Martyrs Mar Behnam and Marth Sarah (Syriac: ܕܝܪܐ ܕܡܪܝ ܒܗܢܡ ܘܡܪܬ ܣܪܐ‎, Arabic: دير مار بهنام‎, Mar Behnam Monastery), is a Syriac Catholic monastery in northern Iraq in the village Khidr Ilyas close to the town of Beth Khdeda. The tomb of Mar Benham was heavily damaged on March 19, 2015 by the Islamic State, and the exterior murals were desecrated in all of the monastery’s buildings. Repair work restoring the monastery and the tomb of Mar Behnam to its pre-ISIS condition was completed by early December 2018.The French organization “Fraternité en Irak” with funds from ALIPH have finished the reconstrection of one of the most important monasteries in Nineveh “Mar Behnam Monastery”

Église Notre-Dame de l’Heure is under reconstruction by UAE and UNESCO

With generous funds from UAE, UNESCO have started the reconstruction of The Our Lady of the Hour Church (Église Notre-Dame de l’Heure ) also known as the name of the Latin Church, was a Catholic church in the center of Mosul, in northern Iraq. Built in the 1870s by the Dominican Fathers, it was especially famous for its bell donated by the Empress Eugenia de Montijo, for which it was sometimes called the Clock Church. It was damaged in a 2006 bombing.

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