Egyptian architects win Mosul mosque competition | Middle East News

The twelfth-century mosque, famous for its perilous minaret, was damaged in 2017 in fighting between ISIL, the United States and Iraqi forces.

Eight Egyptian architects have won an international competition to rebuild the historic Al-Nuri Mosque complex in Mosul, Iraq, election organizers UNESCO 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 to rehabilitate the ancient city.

Built in the 12th century and famous for its inclined minarets, the mosque was badly damaged in fighting between the ISIS group and US and Iraqi forces, known as the Battle of Mosul.

ISIL was accused of blowing up the site before it was seized by government forces.

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

Selected from 123 entries, the winning design is called “court dialogue”.

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoul said the restructuring would “be a milestone in the process of reuniting war-torn cities and advancing social cohesion.”

“Heritage sites and historical monuments are powerful catalysts for a sense of human rights, community and identity.”

“They are the key to fully reviving the spirit of Mosul and Iraq.”

Rehabilitation of Mosul

The winning Egyptian team consists of four partners: Salah El Deen Samir Heredi, Khaled Farid El Deeb, Sheriff Farag Ibrahim and Tariq Ali Mohammed.

It also involved four designer architects: Noah Mansur Ryan, Hajer Abdel Gani Gad, Mahmoud Saad Gamal and Yusra Muhammad El-Baha.

The competition is part of UNESCO’s “Restore the Soul of Mosul” initiative to rehabilitate the city and its cultural life. [Illustration courtesy of UNESCO]

Reconstruction work began later this year, with the goal of rebuilding Al-Nuri’s historic historic prayer hall and integrating Mosul’s Old City’s largest thoroughfare into the city through open public spaces.

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

It is part of UNESCO’s “Restore the Soul of Mosul” initiative to rehabilitate the city and strengthen its cultural life and its education system.

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

A general view of the Al Nuri Mosque during the reconstruction of the old Iraqi city of Mosul on January 23, 2020 [File: Abdullah Rashid/Reuters]

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