A partnership deal was signed by UNESCO and The United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Paris to restore and rebuild two churches in Mosul, Iraq that were destroyed in 2014 by ISIS.
UAE is committed to the restoration of Christian, Muslim and Yazid holy sites in Mosul making to be part of UAE’s “Year of Tolerance” campaign which is an extension of a $50.4 million agreement signed in April 2018 to help rebuild the cultural heritage of Mosul.
According to Faith Wire, the UAE will focus on restoring the 800-year-old Al Tahira Syriac-Catholic Church, one of Mesopotamia’s oldest and largest churches. The church used to have a school, a library, and a medical center before ISIS terrorists destroyed it.
The second church the UAE will restore is the Al – Saa’a church built by Dominican fathers between 1866 and 1873.
“We are very honored to sign this partnership with UNESCO and the people of Iraq to take our efforts further in helping rebuild Mosul and reviving the spirit of coexistence and social cohesion,” Noura Al Kaabi, the UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, said at the signing of the agreement last week.
To protect the remnants of Mosul’s Muslim and Christian culture, UNESCO in conjunction with UAE will also construct a museum and memorial site which will display to that effect.
According to UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, “This rehabilitation aims to reclaim the true spirit of the City, a story of peaceful coexistence between different religious and ethnic groups.”
“I am thankful to the United Arab Emirates and Minister Al Kaabi who have generously supported our Initiative since the beginning, and who believe, as we do, that there is no true reconstruction and revival without Culture and Education.” He added.