Surrounded by traditional courtyard dwellings, the Mosque, and specially its leaning minaret, stood out from the city’s skyline. The leaning or ‘hunchback’ Al-Hadba Minaret often lent its name to the city itself, becoming a symbol not only of Mosul but also of the whole Iraq.
At the beginning of its construction, the minaret was in fact straight, But it began to incline for more than two meters due to the northwest winds
The Mosque Complex premises comprises the prayer hall and the minaret, as well as a number of secondary buildings and structures.
After taking control of the city, the complex was significantly damaged during the summer of 2017. As ISIS gradually retreated from Mosul, they placed a series of explosives intended to destroy the complex’s two famous landmarks - the prayer hall and Al-Hadba minaret. As a result, the minaret lost its entire cylindrical tower. Now, only 15 of the 45 metre structure remain, representing its two lower bases. Both structures, as well as the nearby buildings, suffered substantial damage and were covered in rubble, rendering the entire area almost inaccessible.
Under the ‘Revive the Spirit of Mosul’ project, UNESCO, the Iraqi Ministry of Culture, and the Iraqi Sunni Endowment, with the generous financial support of the United Arab Emirates, have committed to reconstruct and rehabilitate the Al-Nuri Complex in Mosul. The reconstruction of this important city landmark is of upmost the importance to send a strong message of resilience and hope in the post-ISIS Iraq.
Indeed, historical sites and monuments are not only a site of knowledge, but they represent a powerful symbol of belonging, community, and identity, whose rehabilitation will support the recovery of the collective memory of Mosul of this vibrant and re-emerging city.
This work is in cooperation with UNESCO