Mosul is famous for its historic role as a centre of cultural activity and intellectual productions in Iraq and Mesopotamia as a whole. The liberation of the city from ISIS has brought new life to the cultural side of the city. One such development to evidence this revival of cultural life is the opening of a cafe named ‘Book Forum’.
‘Book Forum’ has been opened to provide a space for the intellectuals, writers and musicians of Mosul to gather and discuss ideas and plans for the promotion of the cultural sphere in the city.
The establishment of this cultural cafe comes just a few months after the elimination of ISIS in Mosul. ISIS had imposed its radical and totalitarian ideology on the city for approximately 3 years. ISIS’ strict and misguided interpretation of Islamic law led to restrictions of educational and cultural activity at best, and the complete closure or destruction of educational and cultural establishments at worst.
Members of various intellectual, cultural and literary groups were present at the opening of the ‘Book Forum’. The Nineveh Literary Union attended and a number of novels were signed for the young people present by authors.
This initiative, like many other cultural initiatives in Mosul and across Iraq, was launched by young people from the city, eager to demonstrate its historical heritage and to show that they are prepared to begin building a brighter future.
Another example that demonstrates the resolve of the city is the continued effort to rehabilitate the University of Mosul, which was heavily damaged during ISIS’ rule and was used by the terrorist group as a chemical weapons manufacturing site.
Such initiatives have also proven to be conducive to unifiying the country. For example, the process of the restoration of the University of Mosul, situated in Nineveh, northern Iraq, provided an opportunity for the University of Kufa, located in Najaf, southern Iraq, to send them thousands of books.