What was once a grand university, stretching across 251 km2 and hosting 22,000 students in its 124 buildings, the University of Mosul is all but ruined.
Walking through the rubble and valley of tattered and burnt paperwork four student volunteers have assigned themselves the role of salvaging what is left of the official documentation of the university. Nizar is one of these students. He describes the situation saying, “this is what’s left- no equipment and printers etc. There’s nothing here except destruction but we hope that this will be cleared”.
ISIS militants set up headquarters inside the university campus in al-Majmouah neighbourhood and used them as operation centres and for leadership gatherings. Its destruction comes as a result of heavy artillery warfare between ISIS militants and Iraqi Government Forces which left the building in ruins.
Nizar says, “there is no end to this work because of the destruction and rubble. We need international and government support, in addition to the issue of paying officials their salaries”.
However, hopes are high to get the university operational again for the September intake. Osama Ahmad Hamdoon, who is the head of the Department of Buildings and Projects, proclaimed that “the coming academic year must take place inside the university at its original location. Work is going to make this happen”.