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Mosul has been a capital of creative industries for thousands of years: Noura Al Kaabi

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ABU DHABI, 21st June, 2020 (WAM) -- Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, has stated that the Iraqi city of Mosul has been a capital of creative industries for thousands of years.

In her article in the Iraqi website, "Nas News," entitled, "The Spirit of Mosul," Al Kaabi said, "Three years ago, the world witnessed the largest systematic destruction of human cultural heritage in Mosul, one of the oldest cities of the world, which has served as a bridge connecting the east, west, north and south and has been inhabited by people from different religious, ethnic and cultural backgrounds."

Al Kaabi added that Mosul has thousands of historical sites from various civilisations and cultures, most notably the Great Mosque of Al Nuri and its leaning minaret, which was targeted by Daesh three years ago, noting that the UAE was the first contributor to the initiative launched by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, titled, "Reviving the Spirit of Mosul."

"The reconstruction of the Great Mosque of Al Nuri coincided with the UAE’s celebration of Sheikh Zayed’s centennial in 2018, which highlighted our keenness to promote the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and support the efforts of our Iraqi brothers in the areas of development and stability, as well as in rebuilding heritage sites destroyed by the enemies of history," she added.

The reconstruction of the mosque and its leaning minaret is not the only part of the reconstruction of heritage sites, but this process also includes investing in Mosul’s youth and empowering them, she further added, explaining that this project provides 1,000 training opportunities to the youth and supports cultural tourism in Iraq.

She also pointed out that the UAE is cooperating with its global partners, such as UNESCO and the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property, ICCROM, in launching a comprehensive training programme to build the capacities of Mosul’s youth in the areas of architecture, engineering, urban development and handicrafts.

Al Kaabi noted that the first phase of the mosque’s reconstruction ended several months ago and is on track with the planned timeline, with a steering committee leading the project, stressing that heritage is the cornerstone of cultural identity and is inherited by generations throughout human history.

"Arab heritage has deep roots and a prominent stature, as it is the source of our culture and our portal for the future. A nation that does not know its history will not be unable to create its future," she said in conclusion.

WAM/Esraa Ismail/Hassan Bashir