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Shams Al-Shakarchi

Photoblog: Bittersweet memories of old Mosul

Ancient Mosul was a thriving trade city [twitter.com/iraqipic]

Date of publication: 22 October, 2016

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As Iraqi forces advance on Islamic State stronghold Mosul, old photographs reveal a lost ancient city.
This week, Iraqi forces, allied militias, Kurdish peshmerga and a US-led coalition of some 60 countries began their long-awaited assault to liberate Mosul from Islamic State control.

But long before it fell into the hands of hardline militants, the ancient northern Iraqi city on the west bank of the Tigris was a thriving centre of trade between Persia and the Mediterranean, and was famed for exports - oil and textiles (the English muslin came from the name Mosul).

With many cultures passing through, its population was diverse, with Arabs, Turkmen, Christians and Kurds, including Yezidi and Shabak, as well as a sizeable Jewish community.

Photographs shared below, courtesy of archive Twitter account @IraqiPic, reveal the history of the Assyrian heartland.


Old Mosul
A casino on the bank of a lake in a forest area in Mosul in 1971

Old Mosul
An old Iraqi postcard showing a stone bridge in Mosul in 1924.

old mosul
Iron bridge in the 1960s

old mosul
University of Mosul, College of Science in the 1970s. The university was one of the largest educational and research centres in the Middle East

old mosul
The Assyrian winged bull guards the entrance to the palace at Nimrud

Old Mosul
Latin Church, 1940s. The the sound of its ticking could allegedly be heard more than 15 kilometres away.

old mosul
Manual drawing of the city dating back to 1861

old mosul
Mosque and the shrine of Nabi Yunus in the 1920s

Old Mosul
The Bab al-Toub neighbourhood in the 1960s

old mosul
"The Clock Tower" Street in the 1930s


old mosul
The watermelon market in the 1960s

Al-Hadba'a minaret of Al-Nouri mosque in the 1930s
Al-Hadba'a minaret of al-Nouri mosque in the 1930s

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