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First reading festival held in post-IS Mosul Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

First reading festival held in post-IS Mosul

IS looted Mosul's university after capturing the city in 2014. [Getty]

Date of publication: 9 September, 2017

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Hundreds of Iraqis attended the first reading festival in war-torn Mosul this week following the recapture of the city from Islamic State militants.
Hundreds of Iraqis attended the first reading festival in war-torn Mosul this week following the recapture of the city from Islamic State militants.

A nine-month campaign by Iraqi forces and a US coalition wrestled back control of Mosul from IS in July but caused widespread devastation in the city, with much of western Mosul destroyed.

The festival was held on Wednesday in the gardens of the central library inside the University of Mosul, which IS militants had burned down.

The group looted the university after seizing Mosul in 2014 and set faculties and a treasured library on fire during the last days of fighting, before being pushed out by Iraqi forces earlier this year.

Local publishers and writers donated around 10,000 books to the festival, local organisers said, while thousands more were donated to the library to replenish its depleted stocks.

The festival included live music, poetry readings and arts and crafts.

Organisers said the event was a cultural celebration to change the stereotype of Mosul after years of rule under IS extremists.

The university is located in eastern Mosul, where civilians have largely returned home and schools, businesses and markets are open again.

In the west of city, 15 neighbourhoods were completely destroyed in the fighting with around 230,000 people still displaced from their homes.

 

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