UAE, Unesco to rebuild Al-Tahera, Al-Saa'a churches in Iraq

A museum and a memorial site will also be developed as part of the rebuilding project in Mosul

Two churches will be restored in Mosul [representational].
Two churches will be restored in Mosul [representational].

The UAE and United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) will work together to rebuild the Al-Tahera and Al-Saa’a churches in Iraq’s Mosul, with the UAE’s Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, and director-general of Unesco, Audrey Azoulay, signing an agreement for the project.

According to the UAE’s state news agency, Wam, the agreement is part of Unesco’s ‘Revive the Spirit of Mosul’ initiative and comes in line with the UAE marking 2019 as the Year of Tolerance.

The report stated that the project was an extension of an April 2018 agreement related to the restoration and reconstruction of historical andmarks, including Al-Nouri Mosque and its Al-Hadba Minaret, in Mosul. The UAE had pledged $50.4m (AED185.1m ) for the project at the time.

Under the renewed partnership, the UAE will reconstruct the 800-year-old Al-Tahera Church in Mosul’s Midan area, and Al-Saa’a Church, also referred to as Our Lady of the Hour Church.

As part of the project, a museum and memorial site will be built in Mosul, which will create training opportunities and jobs for 1,000 individuals in the city.

Speaking on the agreement, Al Kaabi said: "Our work with Unesco around the world is testament to our country’s commitment to furthering the organisation’s mandate through international cooperation within the fields of education, culture, and science.

“The UAE becomes the first country in the world to reconstruct Christian churches in Iraq."

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