Post-ISIS Nineveh “Youth with Excellence”

It is not true that the remarkable administrative changes currently taking place in Mosul are the result of the parliamentary fact-finding committee’s report, as some are trying to promote this idea. This committee has submitted a long list of demands that are supposed to be populism for the presidency of the House of Representatives. But for political reasons, only a few of the long list were voted on. The decision was slender and did not affect much of the lives of citizens who are eager for change.

The reality of what happened in Mosul is a pure youth uprising against injustice and corruption. An uprising in many stages coincided with the start of the war of liberation from the control of Daesh in October 2016 culminating after the sinking of a ferry in the waters of the Tigris, which killed dozens of people, including mostly women and children. Hundreds of angry youths gathered at the scene of the incident and confronted the Governor  of Mosul Nofal al-Akoub and his body guards who are well know for their recklessness and abuse of civilians. The young people of Mosul expressed their true feelings and met the governor face to face with their indignation, rejection and unchangeable desire for change. The people were not afraid of the governor’s threat when he held the steering wheel of the car instead of his driver and drove across the youthful human barrier after having run through three of the people, this behavior of the governor proved categorically that he was not qualified to be a governor.

The young men continued their protest and turned over to President Barham Salih, who was in the place also. In turn, the President was holding a list of the people’s demands as a message to the Iraqi government and the demand for their implementation quickly. At the top of those requests and demands was the referral of all the perpetrators of the sinking of the ferry and hold them accountable together with all the corrupt officials in Nineveh State institutions to the judiciary, also making reforms and modifications in all the administrative affairs of the province.

The youth of Mosul have strengthened their peaceful protest with a wide campaign through social media, and they have given it a title: “We will not be silent” It was only a few hours before the Prime Minister submitted a request to the Iraqi Council of Representatives to dismiss the governor. The issue was settled and the governor was dismissed from his post with a rare consensus. Then come the announcement of a formation of a crisis cell for the governorate administration. It included a civilian, Muzahim al-Khayyat, President of the Nineveh University and Chief of Reconstruction Committee, and the Commander of Ninevah Operations with Chief of Police. This was followed by the integrity and swiftly dozens of employees including senior staff in the Office of the province were brought to judiciary and the heads of a number of departments such as education, municipal and real estate registration were dismissed. This was followed by the exemption of the two deputy governors from their posts and a decision was issued to arrest the governor who became a fugitive in the Kurdistan region. This was followed by the arrest of officials responsible for the mismanagement of the tourist island that witnessed the ferry disaster that drowned hundreds of people.

In the meantime, the protesting youths were very conscious and issued a statement in which they declared that their protests should be stopped so that no party would exploit them politically or sabotage their demands. In particular that the claimant had reached the highest levels of the State and they have responded immediately. The protesting young people noted in their statement that they would simply press through social networking sites.

The young people confirmed that they benefited from the sit-ins and the popular protests that political parties in Ninewa held for themselves before 2014, this created a greater rift in the security wall and this vacuum of power was taken advantage of by ISIS organization who invaded Nineveh and spread corruption.

The youth continued to contribute to changing the reality of their province and placed themselves under the influence of the Crisis Cell and became a real help and support for it. And launched a large campaign called “We have started” which contributed to the mobilization of a large public to participate in the cleanup campaign on both sides of the city of Mosul and where many young people participated themselves in this campaign. The young people supported important decisions that is affecting the lives of the people on a daily basis, as some are expecting the reducing of the wages of electricity generators, and wages of doctors, and lifting roadblocks and other procedures.

These young people themselves organized or participated in a campaign to remove rubble at the University of Mosul and held a reading festival and even though the smoke of the Liberation war had not yet been removed from the right side of the city. And a series of cultural events and activities and a campaign to remove the rubble on the right side of Mosul. They set up meetings and a gallery of books and cafes that practiced community and cultural roles. Most importantly, there is a general view that Mosul will not go back. All of this resulted in a generation breaking the old barrier of apathy and indifference. Completely independent of any political current and saturated with belonging to Iraq and rejected all calls to move away from the center (Baghdad).

This youth movement is the first of its kind in Ninewa for decades. They point to a promising future that awaits this long-suffering province because of terrorism and government corruption. Young people have demonstrated the ability to take responsibility. Including reliable names representing the people of Nineveh in the Councils of Representatives and the province and the coming areas and assume administrative positions were previously these positions were exclusive to tribalism and the partisan opportunists.

A post-ISIS phase in Nineveh can best be described as a youthful phase with excellence, their slogan is peace and their goals is the building of a new society that can accommodate all the different components and national and sectarian affiliations. It seems that the steps are broad in this direction and all we have to do is be as positive as possible to achieve what we have been deprived of in our life in the past.

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