It has been little more than ten days since the Iraqi security forces officially declared the city of Mosul free from ISIS. Almost a thousand days of the city being under siege, nine months of battle, over 5,536 damaged buildings, a population destroyed.
It will be necessary to remove the debris and explosive ordnance, reconstruct roads, houses, places of worship. The damage caused by the conflict is devastating, so catastrophic that it has been compared to World War II. However, the greatest toll has been on the population.
“Living in Mosul during the fighting was extremely difficult, not only because of the continued violence we have been victims of and witnesses to for the last three years, but because we have been deprived of our liberty. I had a job, I was an engineer, but the siege has left thousands and thousands of people unemployed who now, like me, have nothing left.”
This is how Hazim, one of the patients in the Emergency Hospital, answers when he is asked “what was it like to live in Mosul?” He is here with his daughter, who is 5 years old and has been seriously injured during an attempted escape from the city. Both were injured after they became trapped in crossfire.
“I just want my daughter and my family to get back to normal life, that’s all I hope for. I hope that the Mosul we have lived in for the last few years does not stay in their memories.”
– Rossella, EMERGENCY staff