Training To Save The Treasures Of Iraq [The Documentary]

Episodes

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01Training To Save The Treasures Of Iraq2019062320190626 (WS)

For three years Mosul was occupied by the extremist group known as the Islamic State. During the occupation which lasted until July 2017, the group destroyed many important ancient sites with hammers, bulldozers and explosives. Work is now beginning to assess the damage, but in order to undertake this vital work, Iraqi archaeologists are in need of training and equipment. For the first time eight women from Mosul come to train with the British Museum in London.

Shaimaa Khalil meets the women in London as they participate in the British Museum’s ‘Iraq Scheme’. They are learning how London itself can inspire and inform the task ahead. Shaimaa joins them on a walking tour of the city where they learn about the Great Fire of London and the Blitz bombings. Both events destroyed large swathes of the city, so what lessons can London offer Mosul when it comes to saving the treasures of Iraq?

(Photo: Wreckage of the historical artefacts, destroyed by Daesh terrorists, seen in Nimrud in Mosul's south-east. Credit: Hemn Baban/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Eight female archaeologists from Mosul travel to London to train with the British Museum

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

For the first time eight women from Mosul come to train with the British Museum in London.

For three years Mosul was occupied by the extremist group known as the Islamic State. During the occupation which lasted until July 2017, the group destroyed many important ancient sites with hammers, bulldozers and explosives. Work is now beginning to assess the damage, but in order to undertake this vital work, Iraqi archaeologists are in need of training and equipment.

In this first programme Shaimaa Khalil meets the women in London as they participate in the British Museum’s ‘Iraq Scheme’.

They’re learning how London itself can inspire and inform the task ahead. Shaimaa joins them on a walking tour of the city where they learn about the Great Fire of London and the Blitz bombings. Both events destroyed large swathes of the city, so what lessons can London offer Mosul when it comes to saving the treasures of Iraq?

This is the first of two programmes and in the second Shaimaa is reunited with the women in their home city of Mosul, where she sees the first attempts at rebuilding this important city.

02Training To Save The Treasures Of Iraq - Part Two20190630
02Training To Save The Treasures Of Iraq - Part Two20190630

Shaimaa Khalil joined eight women from Mosul during their two months training in London, learning about the way in which the capital city’s important architecture has been protected and rebuilt over centuries.

In part two, she is reunited with the women in their home city of Mosul. This is not Shaimaa’s first visit to Mosul since the defeat of the so called Islamic State, and she is shocked by how little progress has been made in this city of rubble. Mosul is not just home to hundreds of thousands of Iraqis living their daily lives – it is also where the remains of some of the world’s oldest and most important ancient cities can be found. This part of Iraq was a treasure trove of statues, palaces and fortresses dating back hundreds of years before Christ. The Islamic State fighters attacked them with drills, sledgehammers and explosives.

Shaimaa hears about the work the archaeologists are doing now to assess this damage and their hopes for the future of these heritage sites. She visits the site that was the most iconic of Mosul’s buildings – the Al Nuri mosque and minaret – which Islamic State blew up at the end of the occupation. Perhaps the greatest damage of all is to the people of Mosul and their culture.

The women share stories of their city and what life was like under IS and now, and the work they hope to do to rebuild both its buildings and its community.

(Photo: The destroyed al-Nuri mosque is seen in the old city of Mosul in northern Iraq, 2018. Credit: Zaid al-Obeidi/AFP)

Iraq's female archaeologists return to Mosul to work on restoring their ancient heritage

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

02Training To Save The Treasures Of Iraq - Part Two2019063020190703 (WS)

Shaimaa Khalil joined eight women from Mosul during their two months training in London, learning about the way in which the capital city’s important architecture has been protected and rebuilt over centuries.

In part two, she is reunited with the women in their home city of Mosul. This is not Shaimaa’s first visit to Mosul since the defeat of the so called Islamic State, and she is shocked by how little progress has been made in this city of rubble. Mosul is not just home to hundreds of thousands of Iraqis living their daily lives – it is also where the remains of some of the world’s oldest and most important ancient cities can be found. This part of Iraq was a treasure trove of statues, palaces and fortresses dating back hundreds of years before Christ. The Islamic State fighters attacked them with drills, sledgehammers and explosives.

Shaimaa hears about the work the archaeologists are doing now to assess this damage and their hopes for the future of these heritage sites. She visits the site that was the most iconic of Mosul’s buildings – the Al Nuri mosque and minaret – which Islamic State blew up at the end of the occupation. Perhaps the greatest damage of all is to the people of Mosul and their culture.

The women share stories of their city and what life was like under IS and now, and the work they hope to do to rebuild both its buildings and its community.

(Photo: The destroyed al-Nuri mosque is seen in the old city of Mosul in northern Iraq, 2018. Credit: Zaid al-Obeidi/AFP)

Iraq's female archaeologists return to Mosul to work on restoring their ancient heritage

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.