The most recent history of Iraq has been one of tragedy and horror, terror and subversion, invasion and destruction, and the Iraqi people have endured years of hardships in their daily lives. But the lessons of history teach us that this shall pass and when we look at the history of that proud nation and the role of its people, we look back at the beginnings of civilisation.
It was in present-day Iraq, between the Euphrates and Tigris, in the ancient land of Mesopotamia, that man first learnt to write, to record knowledge and to share it with others — the very basis of learning and education. And with that came the notion of laws, of justice, of being able to live together in greater numbers under a unified code of government — all tenets of our civilisation today.
The heritage of Iraq is unique — and is of global significance. It is the cradle of civilisation, but it has been rocked by the events of these past years, whether from the United States-led invasion, the country’s fragmentation or the murderous effect of Daesh on its heritage, history and people.
Pertinently, the UAE has pledged $50 million (Dh183.5 million) to help restore and preserve that heritage. Now that money is flowing and is making a huge impact on the ground — perhaps no more so than in Mosul, where UAE-funded work is ongoing since April this year. There, over the past month, reconstruction work in underway on the historic and culturally significant Al Nouri Mosque. Indeed, its Al Hadba minaret is also being reconstructed, restoring a familiar shape to the Old City of Mosul’s skyline and a reminder that Iraq can rise from its ruins.