The recent culmination of another significant milestone in the UNESCO-ICCROM Heritage Recovery Programme in Mosul has been marked by the graduation of 23 young architects and civil engineers from the programme's cycle focused on professional development. This comprehensive course comprises theoretical and hands-on training, encompassing topics such as situation and context analysis, value assessment and damage and risk assessment, as well as recovery planning, implementation and monitoring. The primary goal is to equip participants with the skills needed to actively contribute to the recovery of Mosul's heritage.
Implemented in partnership with UNESCO as part of the Revive the Spirit of Mosul initiative, the Government of Iraq, the University of Mosul, the United Arab Emirates and the European Union, this impactful programme has concluded its on-the-ground activities with the second cycle, which took place on 24 August 2023. The graduation ceremony gathered representatives from the local community, ICCROM, UNESCO, the University of Mosul, local and international governmental and non-governmental organizations operating in Mosul, and the graduates’ friends and families at the Engineers Syndicate Hall in Mosul.
The event began with a warm welcome from Ayman Al-Shweiky, ICCROM Course Coordinator, followed by the screening of a short video showcasing the project's accomplishments over the past two years. Mutaz Al-Obaidi, a faculty member at the University of Mosul's College of Engineering and a member of the Steering Committee, along with Rakan Al-Allaff, Project Manager at UNESCO, and Rohit Jigyasu, ICCROM Project Manager, extended their congratulations to the graduates on behalf of the partner institutions. Additionally, Musab Dirar, a 2022 graduate of the Heritage Recovery programme and Director of the Iraq Heritage Foundation, delivered an inspiring speech congratulating the new graduates and underscoring the Foundation's recent achievements.
The new graduates shared reflections on their time in the programme.
"I am proud to affirm that completing the ICCROM course has been an immensely enriching experience, significantly broadening my horizons and deepening my appreciation for cultural heritage. This course has connected me with passionate professionals worldwide, and I am genuinely excited to apply the knowledge and expertise I've gained. This graduation is not the culmination but rather the commencement of a new journey."
– Abdulrahman Firas, New graduate, Civil engineer
"This initiative has bestowed upon us the essential experience to preserve our heritage as an integral part of our profession. It has elevated us to an advanced level, equipping us to contribute effectively to this field. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all those who have contributed to this initiative – from UNESCO and ICCROM to the course organizers who have consistently supported us, both locally and internationally. Our sincere appreciation also goes to the professors and experts who have guided and trained us with their profound expertise."
– Lena Haitham, New graduate, Architect