The Heritage of Mosul

Stories from a historic city

Al-Ghad Radio

Part of the Return to Mosul Exhibition

The Mother of Two Springs: Mosul (2019) by Faris Al-RawiAl-Ghad Radio

Why is Mosul called ‘The Mother of Two Springs’?

The Arabic name for Mosul, ‘The Mother of Two Springs’ makes reference to the city’s gentle climate in the autumn and spring. Mosul, though cut-off and rendered voiceless by ISIS is, by its very nature, primed for rebirth and growth.    

Totem of Mosul, the Mother of Two Springs (2019) by Muthanna Al-BohrzyAl-Ghad Radio

It is clear that throughout history, the identity of the Mother of Two Springs has been inextricably linked to nature; women and trees are symbols of fertility and permanence in Mesopotamian culture, from Inanna to Ishtar and the Tree of Life.

Mosul’s permanence and strength have ensured its continuation.    

The artist provides a discourse on the new life being built in Mosul symbolised by the use of evergreen trees and rain. The artist employs the imagery of Woman as a totem of Mosul. The woman is statuesque, seemingly carved in stone, demonstrating a pervasion of time and space as an original source of revival and permanence within the city.

Allegory of Jonah and the Whale (2019) by Ahmed MuzahimAl-Ghad Radio

The artist symbolised the melting pot of Mosul’s identity in the destroyed Tomb of Jonah, an ancient Assyrian temple and palace, one of Iraq’s most iconic monuments and a potent symbol of interfaith cooperation.   

The tomb is believed to be the final resting place of the prophet Jonah and provided a focal point of multi-faith devotion, a unifying symbol across the city’s Muslim, Christian, and Jewish faiths. 

Overlooking the city, it reminded all Maslawis of the interconnectedness of Iraq’s diverse religious populations, the antithesis of sectarianism.

On 24th July 2014, ISIS destroyed the temple in an attempt to erase the shared history of the many religious communities that live in Mosul, and to erase the narrative of historic peaceful coexistence.         

Credits: Story

This work is brought to you by Al-Ghad Radio, in partnership with Nineveh Fine Artists Association.   

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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