During the nine-month fight to oust the Islamic State from the region, thousands of buildings were destroyed. Emirates has agreed to provide $50.4 million toward the restoration and reconstruction of the historic landmarks of Mosul, notably the Al-Nouri Mosque and its celebrated, leaning 45-meter Al-Hadba Minaret, built more than 840 years ago.
Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, said: “the United Arab Emirates is championing the cause of heritage as the living soul of society, a unique opportunity to foster hope and social cohesion and a springboard for skills and jobs for young people.”
“Heritage is one of the cornerstones of civilization.”
The New York Times reports that Noura al-Kaabi, the UAE culture minister, said her nation’s involvement was intended to help Iraqi scholars and cultural leaders restore Mosul’s cosmopolitan heritage as a place of learning, culture and diversity, and not only help repair its roads, schools and hospitals.
“The UAE supports the efforts of our Iraqi brothers to push the wheel of construction especially in terms of historical monuments,” Ms. Kaabi said at a ceremony at Iraq’s national museum in Baghdad. “Heritage is one of the cornerstones of civilization.”
Built in 1172, the minaret was decorated with ornamental brickwork that was renowned during that period, widely considered a golden age of Islamic architecture and art. Medieval travelers wrote glowing descriptions of Mosul, especially the leaning minaret that local residents nicknamed Al Hudba or the hunchback.
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