Mosul has a rich wealth of tangible and intangible cultural heritage belonging to diverse sections of the community. It has always been a symbol of interreligious coexistence and cultural diversity in Iraq. Unfortunately, the recent conflict has caused enormous damage to this unique heritage. In February 2018, at the International Conference on the Reconstruction of Iraq (Kuwait City), the Director-General of UNESCO launched the flagship initiative “Revive the Spirit of Mosul”, supported by the Prime Minister of Iraq and the UN Secretary-General. The Initiative aims at restoring the urban, social and cultural fabric of the Old City and achieving the primary goal of fostering reconciliation and social cohesion in Mosul. In order to achieve this goal, UNESCO-Iraq has embarked on a project to reconstruct the Old City’s historic landmarks, namely Al-Nouri Mosque and its iconic Al-Hadba Minaret and Al-Tahira Church with the generous support of the Government of United Arab Emirates. UNESCO has also launched an international architectural competition for the reconstruction of Al-Nouri Mosque in the Iraqi city of Mosul. The competition calls for a conceptual design to include the conservation of the standing structures of the prayer hall and its integration into the new buildings. It also covers the rehabilitation of some historical buildings and their integration into the new designs, including the landscaping design of the entire site. The aim is to incorporate new community spaces – for education, social and cultural activities – in ways that go beyond the complex’s principal religious function. The reconstruction of these important landmarks is of utmost importance to send a strong signal of resilience and hope, as a first step towards social cohesion and reconciliation in post-conflict Iraq.
QAF Media Lab has been utilized as an implementation partner to carry out some activities for the VR and media production for UNESCO to help build 3D model, VR experience and media campaigns for cultural sites in Mosul.