Aid & Development

Raqqa residents repair monuments once used by ISIS for executions


The Civil Council of the city of Raqqa in Syria is working on renovating and beautifying al-Sa'ah Square in the centre of the city. The Square was the spot that ISIS used to carry out many field executions against civilians.

The Sa’ah Square in Raqqa, which was infamous for ISIS’ beheadings and punishments, is now being repaired and rehabilitated by the residents of the city.

During ISIS’ control over the city of Raqqa in northeast Syria, the militant organisation used the square, which is at the centre of the city, as a site for executions, crucifixions, and beheadings. After their defeat in the city in October 2017, the people of Raqqa, in cooperation with the Municipality of Raqqa decided to rehabilitate the square and its clock to remove the dark image that ISIS created in the minds of the city’s residents. “Currently, we are proceeding with the rehabilitation of the clock, which dates back to the ancient historical era, in cooperation with the People’s Municipality of Raqqa. The roundabout passed through a dark era during ISIS’s rule,” said Yasin al-Hussein, a member of the Committee of Culture and Heritage. “We wanted to remove this image from the minds of our people, so we decorated it with a beautiful mosaic panel having harmonious artistic and cultural features.”

As a result of the fighting to liberate the city, the clock tower in the middle of the square faced significant damage. Now, the city’s Municipality and cultural committees are committed to bringing back life to the clock by removing ISIS’ remnants and inlaying the structure with mosaics.

According to the project’s supervisors, the clock will retain some of its former features. However, it will be further beautified.

Workers in the project estimate that the project will be finished within the next 20 days, and they say that they are determined to rehabilitate it fully.

“We hope that the clock, which is located in the centre of Raqqa, will look better after the rehabilitation of the destruction,” said Hamdan al-Ahmed, a worker from Raqqa.

The city of Raqqa, which was considered ISIS’ de-facto capital in Syria was liberated from ISIS near the end of 2017, at the same time that ISIS’ de-facto capital in Iraq, Mosul, was being liberated by the Iraqi Security Forces.

Since its liberation, Raqqa has seen many rehabilitation projects across different sectors taking place across the city.