Mosul Plays its Music of Life and For Life

How did it all happened?

How the dream came true and Ameen played “I am Free” at one of the most ancient sites of the Assyrian civilization n Nineveh?
I wrote a few months ago about music here on my page Mosul Eye, I also wrote that I listen to Itzhak Perlman and about my wish of his first visit tour to Mosul to play his music at its first concert. One of the followers said: We have Ameen in Mosul! And I was hooked! .. I asked him to introduce us to each other. I remember writing to Ameen at the time asking him: Are you for real? And everything started from there. I came to know Ameen closer, and we talked alot. I asked him: would you promise to play music in Mosul one day? And he replied: this is been my dearm! I didn’t want to put him under pressure because he decided to leave Mosul after liberating the eastern bank of the city to Baghdad. I know he needed to recover after two brutal years of living under ISIL’s control that destroyed his instruments.

So I was listening passionately to Perlman last night and it was a little over night when I said to myself: let’s write to Ameen! And I wrote: 

Me: would you travel tomorrow to Mosul to play your music there? 

Ameen: I am in Baghdad for now and there are obstacles to overcome first! 

Me: all you have to do is to catch the plane to Erbil! .. 

Ameen: I got to check with a travel agency and ask if that’s possible! 

Me: tomorrow will not be a good time to go and ask, and Baghdad is pretty much in a lockdown because all roads are closed because of a religious feast! .. is there an online flight booking?

Ameen: yes.

I left him for few moments and came back to him

Me: give me your entire name and your phone number

I left him again for a couple of minutes and got back to him

Me: Ameen, I booked you a trip from Baghdad to Erbil and your flight is in the morning!

Ameen: you must be crazy! 

I asked him to get ready, to have some rest. I also asked him to have an apple and to have his coffee before his departure. He laughed and said: Alright mom! 
Ameen arrived to Erbil in the morning and stayed there with a friend of mine. To obtain the security approvals from Nineveh security command to enter the city takes a long time and in itself is a hassle to go through. I am not in Iraq, how am I supposed to do all that? This didn’t turn me down. I called my friend in Erbil to escort Ameen to Mosul, for Ameen needs to be very stable for the performance. Then I called my other friend to help me with the Security​ approval from Lieutenant General Najim Al-Jubouri. Then I received a message later at night from my friend Thamir Khalil, the Clarnet player, who arrived recently to Erbil. He is a Mosuli musician as well, left Mosul long time ago, and said that his dream is to go back to Mosul and witness the performance he dreamed of this whole time. I asked him to join the convey to Mosul. Then it was morning again, and they contacted me that they are in their way to Mosul, but they still need a security approval to get there. I reached out to another friend who managed their entrance approval. There was a crowd waiting for them in the city.

The choice of the location was a message related to different ideas: it is the palace of Esarhaddon the Great, Nineveh’s heritage, then it is Jonah’s shrine that Jews, Christians, and Muslims shared its sacracy.
The message was saying that Mosul does not earn its name unless all its inhabitants share it and live in cohesion with one another. Then, to play at a location that was demolished by ISIL is to revive it with Life again. Then it is music .. to tell the world that Mosul is free although half of it is still under fire, it’s looking for books and music to be born again.
They made it to Mosul, and the dream came true, this is as simple as it is. All of it was a dream, and now, it become reality.

A Message to Human Rights Watch

To: Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International

Re: Provocative Assaults on the civilians at Hammam Al-Alil IDP camp

Mosul Eye observed sexual assaults committed by members of Ali Al-Akbar brigade militia, other militia members, as well as some members of the federal police and a militia known as “Fursan Al-Jubur” in the past few weeks.

Several members of those militias committed sexual assaults on young girls in Hammam Al-Alil IDP camp. They also harass and blackmail women after forcefully detaining their male relatives in a very aggressive and humiliating security check where men are separated from their families and falsely detain them with false accusations for very long hours in disgraceful conditions, subjecting children and youngsters to torturous conditions and blackmailing women as well. 
We have witnesses who witnessed those heinous incidents and the necessary actions must be taken seriously and actively against the offenders and immediately stop the assaults against the Mosuli women.

Mosul Eye announces the birth of Nineveh Documentation Observatory – NDO

Nineveh Documentation Observatory is a platform luanched by a group of Mosuli pages to document what is taking place in Nineveh on humanitarian and reconstruction levels. It is an independent civic supervisory authority, constructed of Nineveh’s civil residents. Its main goal is to create a civil platform in Nineveh that can represent the general civil public opinion  and represent it in the international, regional, and local forums and stand for the province of Nineveh and its residents.

The goals:

1- Create a media platform that is interested in the affairs of the province of Nineveh and its residents.

2- Promote public opinion and bring it closer to daily events related to Nineveh on local, regional and International levels

3- Monitoring everything that happens in Mosul, and record those events with documents and evidences.

4- Monitoring performance of the House of Representatives of the province of Nineveh and the performance of the executive and legislative wings of the local government.

5- Monitoring the performance of the active military and security forces in Nineveh.

6- Monitoring the Performance of the Iraqi government and its obligation to meet its promises in liberating and rebuilding the province of Nineveh.

7- Observing the international coalition’s progress and role in eradicating terrorism in Nineveh.

8- Eradicating ISIL’s effects on Nineveh and rehabilitate the province through the introduction of moderate civil opinion.

9- Confronting the radical hardline discourse and facing ISIL’s media and terrorism.

10- Supporting the youth of the province​ and support their voluntary campaigns and promote the voluntary work throughout the province.

11- Promote trust and openness between the civilians and the Iraqi military forces

12- Promote Nineveh’s heritage and diversity to the world and reinforce the civil peaceful coexistence among its populations.

13- All material issued by Nineveh Documentation Observatory is copyrighted to the observatory and not allowed to be shared or republished without permission from the observatory and mentioning the observatory as a reference.

Members: 

Mosul Eye عين الموصل

Dalal – دلال

موصليون

Women of Mosul نساء الموصل

Consultant of Nineveh Documentation Observatory

الحرس الوطني – محافظة نينوى

مركز نينوى الاعلامي

A Plea to the Prime Minister

To the Prime Minister and the commander in chief of the Iraqi military forces

Greetings

We are the citizens of Mosul, writing to you as the commander in chief of the Iraqi military forces that is currently executing military operations to liberate the western bank of Mosul, which they successfully liberated the eastern bank previously. We appreciate and value those efforts and sacrifices given to liberate us of ISIL’s terrorism that lasted for two and a half years.

As we support you and the iraqi forces in this historical and decisive battle, we observed, for weeks now, civilians are falling in large numbers as a result of using heavy artillery like battery and aerial bombings that casued hundreds of civilian casualties and tens still alive and trapped under the rubble of their homes at the old neighborhoods of Mosul. Also, the random bombings with mortar shells carried out by the Iraqi Federal Police and the Emergency Rapid Division. More than 200 civilians were killed in a single bombing strike in Mosul Al-Jadida, and today, more than 20 women and children were killed in Al-Zinijilli bue to the random bombings. Another incident at Ragm Al-Hadid killed more tgan 40 civilians, again, due to random bombings, and the incident at Khazraj where more than 73 civilians were killed, most of them were children and women, and similar incidents in Al-Makkawi, Al-Faruq St., Mahallat Bab-Jidid, Al-Thawra and 17 Tammuz, to name just a few.

All those neighborhoods witnessed civilian loses, and the death machine continue​s in the old city along with the destruction of the infrastructure of the city, while thousands of civilians are displaced escaping war and living in poor conditions at the displaced camps where they are deprived of the basic needs because of the local government’s inability to provide the basic services at those camps, and the relief organizations are overwhelmed with the large numbers of IDPs, where there are more than 400 thousands civilians are beseiged inside Mosul, awaiting a catastrophe to happen.

We are aware that ISIL is using dangerous methods against the residents and the liberating forces. Many of the civilian casualties fall because of ISIL. Yet, we are waiting to celebrate our liberation and share this joy of liberation with the liberating forces, but the destruction and the human loses is bigger than expected, especially since you directly asked the people to stay in their homes , which resulted in catastrophes​ among the civilians. 

Therefore, as the Prime Minister and the commander in chief of the Iraqi forces, we demand tge following steps to minimize the loses:

1- To order the forces to stop targeting the civilians through airstrikes, heavy battery, and shelling.

2- To order the military leadership to MUST review and change the military planning of Mosul Liberation

3- Declaring the City of Mosul a disaster zone and urging the security council to conduct an emergency​session to plan a relief for Mosul on its two sides, the eastern and the western banks
Regards
#Protect_Mosul_Civilians

An Urgent Plea to the International Community to Protect Mosul and its Residents

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Mosul MUST BE PROTECTED 

We demand the international community an Urgent Protection of Mosul and its residents

1- All airstrikes and artillery bombing of the old neighborhoods of Mosul MUST be stopped, and refrain from using heavy artillery to respond to ISIL’s fire. ISIL’s fire can be treated without the use of heavy artillery.

2- Al-Hadbaa minarat has endured severe​ damages due to the use of heavy artillery fire, and it may collapse at any moment. This minarat is the last standing sign of Mosul’s existence.

We urge the international community, the Iraqi military and government to refrain from fighting in the vicinity of the minarat, or clost to it.

3- Refrain from targeting the civilians in this battle. The number of the civilian casualties in the battle for the western bank is rising to hundreds, in addition tothe thousands of IDPs and war escapees. The main goal of this battle is to protect the civilians, therefore, we ask all factions to respect the lives of the civilians and refrain from targeting them.

4- The Iraqi forces and the coalition must save the civilians, not targeting them. It is a must to change the battle’s plans and push ISIL to fight out of the old city.

So, What is ISIS?

Noor is popular Iraqi Facebook teenager that uses social media to express his thoughts and posting videos talking like an innocent child, was kidnapped by an unknown group, maybe they are “the guardians of virtue”, the disciples of the Shiite Salafism, and they beaten him, ruined his hair and shaved it off, and humiliated him. They said the reason he was kidnapped for is because of his looks and his hair (the boy is soft with a girl-like looks). 

This occurred in Baghdad, another ISIL we suffer in Iraq.

Updates and Notes on Wester Bank Ops – 02/26/2017

Many indications point to escalation in battles’ fierceness started to show today at Al-Tayaran and Al-Jusaq neighborhoods, the outskirts of the old neighborhoods of the city, and the link to the administrative complex (The governarate, and the board of the government of Nainawq) at Al-Dawasa.

The real test of the Iraqi forces hasn’t started yet. The fear of ISIL’s attempts to lure the Iraqi forces to fight inside the old neighborhoods was clear today. ISIL wants to drag the Iraqi forces into fighting inside Al-Dawasa, Bab Al-Tub, and around the old city.

The Iraqi forces made a mistake by starting the battles at Al-Tayaran and Al-Jusaq. They should have started the battles from the west of the western bank, starting from Al-Ma’mun and Tal Al-Rumman, all the way to Nabils, Al-Yarmuk, and Al-Jadida to drag ISIL to the battlefields on the outskirts and for the safety of the civilians.

Deepening inside the old neighborhoods of the western bank will lead to high human loses. Also, ISIL is well trained to fight inside such densed areas. The measures ISIL has taken in those aras, like opening passages through houses, provides a great military coverage and unprecedented flexibility of their movement. 

The battle will be more complicated if the operations don’t start on the north side (Musheirifa, Hawi Al-Kanisa, & Al-Harmat) and ISIL will succeed in dragging the forces to fight inside the old city. The iraqi forces MUST start to push ISIL from both the north and the west, where those areas are open spaces and easy to target ISIL by the airforces.

The old city of Mosul never witnessed any fighting since 2003, except for some areas in Al-Dawasa, therefore, it is a very challenging area. The jihadists used to avoid this ara fearing of traps. Today, ISIL is entrenched very well in this area, knowing its ins and outs. This part of the city is a maze!

The pressure on ISIL must be on those areas for the following reasons:

1- ISF has a previous experience in fighting in those areas as they are open neighborhoods where is it easy to utilize helicopters and vehicles can maneuver easily. Those neighborhoods once recaptured will avoid any battles in the neighborhoods behind them.

2- The roads in those areas lead to the third bridge, which will enable the Iraqi forces to overlook Hawi Al-Kanisa on two sides, from the eastern bank and the western bank. This will open the north front. Also, those neighborhoods got many entrances and exits, which will allow the iraqi forces to disable ISIL’s movement.

3- Any embroilment of the Iraqi forces in raiding the old city will result in a catastrophe among the Iraqi forces and the civilians together. Since 2003 until ISIL’s invasion of Mosul, the old city never witnessed any battles as it is well known to be impenetrable and impossible for military operations, even most of the US operations failed in those neighborhoods. Yet, ISIL, over the past two and a half years, trained its members to fight in such areas.

Neighborhoods like Al-Nabi Shiit, Mahallat Al-Sajin, Bab Jidid, Al-Tawafa, and Al-Faruq are a net of mazes, even its native residents lose their way in it many times. The buildings are very fragile and unable to stand any military operation. The slightest operation would result in a human catastrophe. 

4- Today it was evident that ISIL increased its numbers of car bombs and suicide bombers in Al-Tayaran and Al-Jusaq. It is important to eliminate Wadi Iqab industrial district where ISIL’s supplues of weapons and car bombs are located.