ABU DHABI, 14th September, 2018 (WAM) — The Joint Steering Committee for the Reconstruction and Restoration of Al-Nuri Mosque and the Al-Hadba’ Minaret in Mosul, on Friday, held its first meeting in Abu Dhabi, in the presence of Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development.
In her opening address, Al Kaabi reiterated the UAE’s support for Iraq in its efforts to maintain its security and stability and build effective state institutions capable of realising peace, progress and chart a flourishing future for the generations to come.
Al Kaabi urged members of the committee to work as one team motivated by one spirit to properly deliver the US$50.4-million landmark project, which is expected to build a harmonised, integrated community.
Al Kaabi stated, ”The restoration and reconstruction Al-Nuri Mosque and the Al-Hadba’ Minaret in Mosul came while the UAE is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan. This project reflects Sheikh Zayed’s legacy and his unflinching commitment to supporting Arab brothers and contributing positively to the prosperity of their countries. The project sets a model for highlighting the UAE’s role as a champion for safeguarding world heritage and conserving its cultural resources in war zones by adopting sustainable initiatives that guarantee the rights of generations to archaeological and cultural sites.” ”The landmark restoration project sends a message of hope and optimism to Iraqi young generations as active enablers and contributors to the reconstruction process. The project will generate 1,000 jobs and training opportunities over the five years of implementation and stimulate, once completed, the cultural tourism and development in Mosul. In the end, it will contribute to building a viable, prosperous city where values of tolerance, reconciliation and openness will prevail. The city will restore its shine as a centre for science and culture.” In a statement to the Emirates News Agency, WAM, Al Kaabi said the UAE is committed to supporting such projects for restoration of historic and cultural landmarks, especially those destroyed by terrorist organisations such as Daesh.
”The first steps of reconstruction should focus on the restoration of Mosul’s heritage sites, reviving its cultural life and its educational institutions,” she said.
She added that the five-year cultural project will be undertaken by experts from the UAE and UNESCO.
Noting to her recent participation in UNESCO’s first international meeting on the “Revive the Spirit of Mosul” initiative in Paris, Al Kaabi highlighted the importance of focussing the efforts of strategic partners on humanitarian aspects in the recovery and rehabilitation of the city of Mosul to ensure the cultural and educational sustainable development within the city.
Al Kaabi stressed the importance of strategic partnerships among the key actors in the reconstruction of the Grand Mosque of Al Nuri and Al-Hadba’ Minaret.
The meeting discussed means of engaging the local community and youth in the reconstruction process and the return of internally displaced persons to their homes.
The committee agreed on a time schedule for the project which will be completed by 2023. They also agreed to hold regular meetings every six months to review the progress of the project.
The committee includes representatives of the UAE, Iraqi, UNESCO, the Iraqi Sunni Endowment, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, OIC, EU, and the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) Regional Office in Sharjah.
In April 2018, the UAE and Iraq signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, for cultural cooperation and announced a landmark project in Mosul and Al Kaabi for the restoration and reconstruction of the two famous cultural sites. The project included the construction of a new memorial site with community and educational spaces to be made open to the public.
The UAE also signed an agreement with UNESCO to fund and support the reconstruction of the two monuments and to build the necessary infrastructure for the project, rebuild the historical gardens, and a memorial site with community and educational spaces.
The project supported by the UAE concerns the restoration and reconstruction of the historic landmarks of Mosul, notably the emblematic Al-Nouri Mosque and its celebrated, leaning 45-metre Al-Hadba Minaret, built more than 840 years ago.
The first year will focus on documenting and clearing the site as well as drawing up plans for its reconstruction. The following four years will focus on the restoration and historically faithful reconstruction of the Leaning Minaret, the Al-Nouri Mosque and adjacent buildings. The city’s historic gardens and other open spaces and infrastructures are also part of the plan, which foresees the building of a memorial and site museum.