Friday, 31 March 2017

VIDEO: The joy and sadness of returning to Mosul

The joy and sadness of returning to Mosul

31 March 2017 (BBC)

I've dreamed of going back to Mosul for so long.
The city where I was born and grew up has always occupied a special place in my heart and it's full of happy memories.
My Mosul was a city of green and shady streets, with beautiful, old houses overlooking the River Tigris.
It was a city of books with a famous university where my father taught and I studied.
It was a place where Iraqis came for a break, to breathe its cool, fresh air and visit its world-renowned archaeological sites.
I hadn't been home for more than a decade, and knew that after two brutal years of occupation by so-called Islamic State (IS), Mosul had suffered much damage.
But it was still a shock to see it for real.

Heartbreaking homecoming

As we drove through the streets where I played as a child, I found myself fighting back the tears.
Familiar places had become almost unrecognisable.
Everywhere you looked there were bullet-scarred walls and bombed-out buildings.
The roads were littered with twisted metal and burned out cars.
It was a heartbreaking homecoming.

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