A group of Egyptian architects won a competition to rebuild the Great Al-Nuri Mosque in Mosul, four years after it was destroyed by ISIS militants.
ISIS members blew up the 12th-century mosque in June 2017, as government forces moved to retake the city.
Three years before that, the leader of the organization, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, declared a “caliphate” from the famous mosque.
The reconstruction is part of the United Nations project to “revive the spirit of Mosul”.
The eight Egyptian architects and their design “Courtyards Dialog” (Arabic for dialogue of courtyards) were chosen from among the 123 designs that participated in a competition to win the project.
The battle for Mosul lasted nearly 9 months, and most of the city was in ruins. Thousands of civilians have been killed and more than 900,000 people displaced.
Audrey Azoulay, who heads the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Agency, “UNESCO”, said that the mosque’s reconstruction “will be a milestone in the reconciliation process in the war-torn city.”
“While the prayer hall will look the same as it was before the destruction, there will be significant changes, including the use of natural light and expanded spaces for women and dignitaries,” UNESCO said in a statement.
The Great Mosque was named after Nur al-Din Mahmud Zangi – famous for the unification of Islamic forces against the Christian Crusaders – who ordered its construction in 1172.
The building was famous for its leaning minaret, nicknamed “the humpback”, and it was severely damaged during the battle for Mosul.
Reconstruction will begin later this year.