Voices from Mosul

Listen to the artists of Mosul tell their stories, from the dark days of war to the city's cultural revival

Al-Ghad Radio

The process of recovery and reconstruction will allow healing for the traumatized community of Mosul. (1172)World Monuments Fund

What happened in Mosul?

In 2014, ISIS took control of the city of Mosul in northern Iraq, and imposed their regime of violence on its citizens. After a brutal battle to take back the city, Mosul is coming to terms with the lasting remnants of war, slowly returning to a life free of the oppression and persecution of extremism.

Al-Ghad Radio brought together artists from around Mosul and the Arab world in the first exhibition after the occupation, exploring the trauma and gradual healing of the city. Al-Ghad continues to bring the community together to celebrate its rich culture and incredible history.

Return of MosulAl-Ghad Radio

Susan Mahdi
00:00

"Mosul, the city of wonders, gives hope for a better tomorrow. Anyone can see the smile on the faces of its residents, notwithstanding the pain and grief that fills their hearts." - Susan Mahdi, a professor, author, and activist.

Walk over Debris (2017-05-18) by Ali Yousif AL-BaroodiAl-Ghad Radio

Mohammed Bahr Elias
00:00

“We all know that each ordeal is different, but the torment that the city of Mosul went through in the time of darkness, the time of ISIS, was another kind on all levels. That was an exceptional era in the history of my city and Iraq.”  - Mohammed Bahr, Professor and fine artist.    

Mowaffaq EltaayAl-Ghad Radio

Muwafaq Hussein
00:00

“After ISIS occupied Mosul, three difficult years passed, in which time stopped and life was suspended. But after waking up from the shock, people who work in the field of culture and art began to restore the psychological and intellectual balance of the city.”  - Muwafaq Hussein, Author and theater director.

Hakam Alkattib (2020)Al-Ghad Radio

Hakam Alkattib
00:00

“This country has gone through so much, for many decades. During unique experiences, art is regarded as an echoing record of suffering, when looked back on from a happier future. I lived in the shadow of a transcontinental terrorist organisation; as a result of the anxious political circumstances of the time. This organisation occupied my city, and exposed its people to the fiercest attack, targeting its rich history. I had to stay at home to defend the land of my ancestors, my history, and all this city’s achievement. It is an experience that could be the deepest I have ever had.” - Hakkam Alkattib, fine artist.

Hakam AlkattibAl-Ghad Radio

Hakam Alkattib
00:00

“Artists were targeted as if they were the most ferocious enemy. I stayed at home, full of anxiety for my family. I was hiding in my atelier, resorting to the paintings that accompanied my loneliness. It was my paintings that helped me reveal what was inside, until I had produced more than one hundred works.”  

“Although the artwork and its measurements varied, the content and subject was one, exploring the idea of inversion. That is, the reversal of the rational and logical, to the illogical and irrational – or, more accurately, ‘The Fall’. I mean fall of humanity, the fall of values, and the fall of history, as well as geography.”  

Charisma (2018) by Hakam AlkattibAl-Ghad Radio

Hakam Alkattib
00:00

“It is interesting to note that after completing and signing each painting, I started looking for a hideout for it. The idea of hiding them in the sub-ceiling of the atelier came, to keep my work away from the eyes of neighbours or ISIS members, because the discovery of such things would lead to the amputation of the hand - the hand of the painter – at best.”  

Tones of Hope (2017-05-18) by Ali Yousif AL-BaroodiAl-Ghad Radio

Muwafaq Hussein
00:00

“Artists, and all those working in the field of culture and art, are always at the forefront of life. They are not discouraged by any obstacles in expressing their creative, human, and aesthetic role, which serves both humanity and society as a whole.”  

Daesh Destruction of Mosul (2019) by Mohammed BahrAl-Ghad Radio

Mohammed Bahr Elias
00:00

“The painting which was necessary to document, encode, and embody, is the one of the spirit and memory. We still preserve that spirit and that memory.”  

Bayat Maraey
00:00

“The exhibition was the first that we staged after the liberation. It was a great success because it was displayed on the rubble left by the criminal organisation, ISIS, in the city. It was shown on the anniversary of the opening of Al-Najafi Street in West Mosul.”  - Bayat Maraey, Author and theater director.

Everyone participated in the work by Photo by Mohammed AbdulhaqAl-Ghad Radio

Susan Mahdi
00:00

“Mosul has truly proved that it is a city that may suffer, but never dies. It has risen again. And it will revive, with vigour and determination.”  

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