Sunday 4 December 2022 \


First UAE meeting for restoration of Al Nuri Mosque

The base of the destroyed Al Hadba leaning minaret in the old city of Mosul. AFP
The UAE’s restoration of Mosul’s historic Al Nuri Great Mosque and Al Hadba minaret took an important step forward on Thursday when officials held the first high-level reconstruction meeting in Abu Dhabi.
Noura Al Kaabi, the Minister of Culture, attended the first meeting of a joint committee that will drive the project to rebuild the Iraqi city’s world-famous holy places, which were destroyed by ISIS.
Ms Al Kaabi said on Friday that she had been "honoured" to host the meeting, "which discussed the work plan and timeframe for bringing back the historical and cultural role of Al Nuri Mosque".
The minister and committee members were received by Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, the Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, the state news agency Wam reported on Friday.
In April the UAE Government pledged to finance a $50.4 million (Dh185 million) project to rebuild the 800-year-old mosque, renowned for its leaning minaret. The mosque and minaret were blown up by ISIS in June last year.
Last week Ms Al Kaabi told The National that Abu Dhabi will head the committees alongside Iraq’s Culture Ministry and the Iraqi Sunni Endowment to help support the reconstruction.
The UAE plans to create 1,000 jobs for young Iraqi graduates from Mosul and Baghdad during the five-year reconstruction project, ensuring they become a key fixture in the rebuilding of their city.
“The most important thing is that in 2023 we are going to enjoy a beautiful tour of the Grand Nouri mosque,” Ms Al Kaabi said at a conference in Paris.
The meeting in Abu Dhabi was attended by UAE and Iraqi government officials, diplomats and conservation experts, as well as representatives of Unesco, the Sunni Endowment Diwan of Iraq, the Organisation of Islamic Co-Operation and the Sharjah office of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property.
A statement issued by the UAE Culture Ministry said that the project would "contribute to building a vibrant and prosperous Mosul".
It said that Ms Al Kaabi had welcomed the members of the committee to Abu Dhabi, "stressing the UAE's support for Iraq in establishing security and stability, building strong and prosperous institutions, achieving peace and progress, and ensuring a prosperous future for generations to come".

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