Web Desk(April 24, 2018): The UAE and Iraq have launched a joint effort to reconstruct Mosul’s Great Mosque of Al Nuri and its iconic leaning minaret, ravaged last year during battles to retake the city from militants.
During the ceremony at Baghdad’s National Museum, UAE Culture Minister Noura Al Kaabi said her country would put forward $50.4 million (41.2 million euros) for the task.
“The five-year project is not just about rebuilding the mosque, the minaret and the infrastructure, but also about giving hope to young Iraqis,” she said. “The millenia-old civilisation must be preserved.”
#UAE announces a massive project to build and restore the Great Mosque of al-Nuri and its leaning (Al Hadba’) minaret in Mosul, Iraq. The project, the largest of its kind in Iraq, will be carried out in collaboration with @UNESCO, Ministry of Culture in Iraq and @ICCROMpic.twitter.com/wceYSxbPBJ
— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) April 23, 2018
The deal was signed by Kaabi and her Iraqi counterpart, Faryad Rawanduzi, in the presence of Unesco’s Iraq representative Louise Haxthausen.
“This is an ambitious, highly symbolic project for the resurrection of Mosul and Iraq,” said Haxthausen.The famed 12th century mosque and its leaning minaret – dubbed “the hunchback”, or Al Habda, by locals – was destroyed in June 2017. The Iraqi army accused Daesh group terrorists of destroying it with explosives as Iraqi forces steadily retook ground in the embattled city.
It was in this mosque in 2014 that Daesh’s leader, Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, made his only public appearance as leader. His whereabouts are still unknown.