Egyptian Architects Win Mosul Mosque Competition | Middle East News

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The 12th-century mosque, famous for its sloping minaret, was damaged in 2017 during fighting between ISIS, US and Iraqi forces.

Eight Egyptian architects have won an international competition for the reconstruction of the historic Al-Nuri Mosque complex in Mosul, Iraq, the organizer of the UNESCO selection said on Thursday.
The complex was severely damaged by the conflict in 2017 and the reconstruction of the mosque is part of the organization’s project for the rehabilitation of the ancient city.

The mosque, built in the 12th century and famous for its sloping minaret, suffered greatly from fighting between the ISIL Group (ISIS) and American and Iraqi forces, known as the Battle of Mosul.

ISIL has been accused of blowing up the site before it was captured by government forces.

ISIL accused of blowing up al-Nouri mosque before it was captured by government forces [File: Zaid Al-Obeidi/AFP]

Selected from 123 entries, the winning design is called “Courtyards Dialogue”.

Reconstruction “will be a milestone in the process of promoting reconciliation and social cohesion in the war-torn city,” said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay.

“Heritage sites and historic monuments are powerful catalysts for people’s sense of belonging, community and identity,” she added.

“They are essential to rekindle the spirit of Mosul and Iraq as a whole.”

Mosul rehabilitation

The Egyptian team that won the competition is made up of four partners: Salah El Din Samir Hareedy, Khaled Farid El-Deeb, Sherif Farag Ebrahim and Tarek Ali Mohamed.

There were also four designer architects involved: Noha Mansour Ryan, Hager Abdel Ghani Gad, Mahmoud Saad Gamal and Yousra Muhamed El-Baha.

The competition is part of the UNESCO initiative “Revive the Spirit of Mosul” for the rehabilitation of the city and its cultural life [Illustration courtesy of UNESCO]

Reconstruction works, which are due to start at the end of this year, are aimed at rebuilding the historic al-Nouri prayer hall and integrating the complex, the largest public space in the old city of Mosul, into its urban environment. through open public spaces.

UNESCO launched the competition in November 2020 in coordination with the Iraqi Ministry of Culture, the Iraqi Sunni Endowment and with the support of the United Arab Emirates.

It is part of the UNESCO initiative “Reviving the Spirit of Mosul” for the rehabilitation of the city and its cultural life, and the strengthening of its educational system.

In addition to being awarded the contract for the complex, the winners will receive a prize of $ 50,000.

A general view of the Al-Nouri Mosque during its reconstruction, in the old city of Mosul, Iraq January 23, 2020 [File: Abdullah Rashid/Reuters]

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