Mosul, the museum of different cultures

Mesopotamia, is one of the most important ancient centers of civilization. It is the country of the two rivers and birthplace of many myths, religions and religious beliefs, culture and beautiful and attractive legends.

The culture of this region was so influential and powerful and had a great effect on the ancient civilizations before the birth of Christ.

It was here in Mesopotamia that the first alphabet was invented, it was here for the first times the canons of laws were written and for the first time agricultural revolution took place here.

Mesopotamia was the original center of the Sumerian, Akkadi, Babylonian, Assyrian, and Caldean civilizations, and the birthplace of religions such as the Mithras, Manawe and was the worship place for  the angels of blessing, good and happiness.

Mosul was geographically and historically the capital city of the Assyrian State and was a center of Mesopotamia many centuries B.C. Mosul has for centuries become the host that harbored the followers of many religions of Iraq and the Middle East, its mosaic and pluralism has made Mosul be regarded a museum of various cultures.

“Um-Al Rabiain” is regarded as the most distinct and well known surnames of the city of Mosul. It was the multicolored vivid city of Mosul that had seen two spring seasons in one annual calendar and Tigris river divides the city into two equal halves. This city has witnessed chronic wars and political conflict since the collapse of Nineva, the capital city of the Assyrians by the Chaldea and the Medias in the first Millennia B.C to the fall of Islamic Caliphate state known as ISIS, Mosul has become a center for war, massacre, and unending wrestling and contest and the clash of the rival civilizations. All these chronic wars are engraved with iron and fire in the memoir of its populations.

After the fall of Mosul into the hand of the Muslim Arab Army, the city has never rested for a while as it was always under attack by the military campaigns of the Salukis, then by the Mongolian massacre, and then the attacks of the Turkmen known as Aq Qoynlu and Qara Qoynlu and later the Safafid looting, plunder and attacks until it was invaded by the Ottomans. The Ottomans conquered Mosul and made it one of the states(Vyllayat)  comprising the Othman Empire and held it for about four centuries. Mosul was then controlled by the British for a few days before the First World War and was later annexed to the newly founded state of Iraq. All these forces who have ruled, captured, conquered and invaded Mosul and or have crossed here have affected the culture and population components of the city.

The governorate of Nineva, the second largest city of Iraq,  has the majority of its population as Sunni Arabs, however, the city also includes all the different ethnic, national and religious and tribal components of Iraq. In this governorate each of the Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, Assyrians, Armans, Sryani, Muslims, Ezidis, Christians, Shabaks, Kakais, Sunnis and Shias each speak their own native language and practice their own religious beliefs, have their own religious sermons, and they each hold strongly to their own roots and they each have their own viewpoints and lifestyles unique to each one of them.

In the last five decades, a strong Arab nationalist movement and Islamic Extremist Movement have to some extend undermined and destabilized the coexistence of the different cultures in this city:

The first movement was the Baathist Nationalist Movement which have “arabized” the Kurdish populated areas of this governorate and has altered the nationalist identity of the Ezidis, Assyrians, and Sryans.

The second movement was the Islamic Extremist Movement and the advent of the so called Islamic Caliphate State known as ISIS. The fall and collapse if this city into the hand of ISIS was such a  symbolic significant event for ISIS that the first appearance of its leader Abu Bakir Al-Baghdadi was from this city. It was in Mosul that ISIS leader announced the “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq for the first time. ISIS had not only obliterated and erased the historical and cultural memories of this city but has also destroyed and smashed a significant portion of all the fine arts, ancient civilizations of the Mesopotamia with spades and hammers. Furthermore, ISIS have torched and set fire on the religious shrines of the Ezidis, Kakays and have also blown up dozens of Muslim shrines belonging to public Islamic figures and  have devastated the majority of the old Churches within Mosul. ISIS  wiped out and eradicated all the different forms of pluralism, and the diverse cultures existing within the city of Mosul. This same pluralism and multiculturalism of Mosul was the only identity of the city through which Mosul could be distinguished from the other cities of Iraq.

Even though these movements have largely affected the demography of the city of Mosul and have created a huge wall of distrust amongst the nationalities, religions and ethnicities and the different cultures and have hugely antagonized and divided its populations with much rivalry and animosity, however, they were unable to completely annihilate the ancient museum of multiculturalism and civilization of Mesopotamia existing in the city of Mosul and as such these two movements were unable to reduce all these diversity into one single nationalist and or religious sectarianism. Such movements they have tried but have fortunately failed to put an end to the coexistence amongst the Ezidies, Christians, Shabaks, Kakakis, Kurds, Arabs and Turkment and Sunnis and Shias.



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