​I don’t know what to write tonight. I’m writing to you then I feel bad because I am sharing my sorrow with you .. you don’t deserve to drop this on you like this, but I feel that sharing my pain with you might help to release some of this stress that sits heavily on my chest and strangles my soul. 

I feel that this war will take longer than I think. We are stranded between Life and Death. We are neither alive, nor dead. I can see death hovering over the city, but it’s not taking lives to declare the end of it, and doesn’t leave the city to let it live in peace. There is no value for death if the dying soul is already dead!

I saw a video where children were dragging along the ground ISIL dead corpses. I cried just for seeing this hideous scene. I was fearing this very moment. It frightens me to see such scenes take place in my city. But I rush to Hannah Arendt as she watches Eichmann and watches the human action and the subjugation to authority. I find my consolation with Hannah Arendt, with all this totalitarianism and atrociousness, how can we restore life and peace to the city? I feel very sad to watch those children play with corpses! They cannot think, they don’t know what thinking means and cannot value it!

Two years of training on savagery and brutality, and I am scared to death of what might unfold during the liberation. People who act with such cruelty and barbarity open the door to upcoming and deep problems in the future. There are hundreds of thousands of children who might have turned into future monsters. ISIL has deformed their minds, and might have deformed their natural genes as well.

I feel that this war will take longer than I think. We are stranded between Life and Death. We are neither alive, nor dead. I can see death hovering over the city, but it’s not taking lives to declare the end of it, and doesn’t leave the city to live in peace. There is no value for death if the dying soul is already dead!

There are people stuck at the eastern neighborhoods of Mosul, short on water and power, surrounded with car bombs, under fire and rockets, stuck between Life and Death.

ISIL is trapping the houses around us with bombs. We live on ticking bombs around us! If airstrikes and gunfire don’t kill us, those car bombs will soon do the job!.

I don’t know why all this total silence? I feel as if this silence is what will end our lives soon. 

I never lost my desire to smile .. I care for everything, and I know that even if I won’t make it, I won’t feel sorry, for I smiled through the worst of circumstances and difficulties, in the depth of fear, there was something deep inside me smiling always.

Today they killed one of my closest friends. They decapitated his head .. They ended his life in a blink of an eye. I have always loved his brain. Oh! How much that brain had argued with me! I just wish I can keep his head at least. I don’t know where his body now, nor his head. May be he still hears, learns, and goes on in discussions! I wonder with who he’s talking to now!

He always told me that he will die before me! I scolded him many times for his thought! I used to tell him why do you think of death? You should be living life and never wait for death to come to you. But, he was very true!

I remember his features very well. I don’t know how he looks like now .. what was his last move when they chopped off his head .. did he smile before he died? I believe he was smiling at that moment! I wish I can see his face at his last living moments, I would have created a full life of it; his spirit can give life to many cosmos, not only one!

Who will I lose next? What else will I see? I have seen and lived more than enough .. I have seen chopped heads, amputated arms, I have seen people thrown from the top of buildings, thrown over stones .. I have seen their souls trying to hold on to their bodies, but their bodies are so torn apart to hold their spirits. I saw those spirits wondering on the allies of this city!

The world isn’t moving; it is stopped, only my soul that is moving, roaming around. Who will save those wondering souls?

The faces of ISIL are no longer scare me; nothing scary about their faces. I see fear in their eyes, I hear their voices shouting through their chests, and I feel tgem say to their selves “what the hell did we got our selves into?” .. At the same time, I see them like dead bodies walking on the ground.

I am very tired of those faces of death around me!

I want to see one face that I can tell it won’t die any time soon!

Flowers have lost their smile around me. I used to wrap my soul with the petals of a flower to keep it safe … Now I don’t want to do that. The entire city is dead. I’m walking among graves occupied by talking dead. I have never seen the dead talking! But I see them now .. May be this is the world of the dead! 

This is Mosul .. a dead city, where its people are living, talking, and moving as well!

This war will take a very long time; it will npt be over any time soon. I share with you my fears, my pain and my sorrow. I know you have not done anything to deserve to hear them .. but I don’t see any good in staying silent. 

This is not about me, it’s about more than 1.5 million people live in the city, stranded between life and death.

At this moment that is unlike any other moment, when you get caught in the middle, and both life and death are fighting over you, and you’re standing right there helplessly waiting .. in a dark tunnel, afraid to move, afraid to stand still, afraid to breathe, afraid to speak, even afraid to stay silent!
This is Mosul!
My warm kisses and hugs to you all
The founder of Mosul Eye


  1. Mosul Eye I just started following you. I will stay with you long after peace comes to Mosul. From Singapore.

  2. I just discovered your blog and I am very moved by you but with such a feeling of helplessness! I am not a believer as I can for you and Mossul having all my thoughts and compassion from France. take care of your….

  3. That is beautiful. Like a poem. But that is an unimaginable life you live. I feel really sorry for you. I hope that one day all the people there will find peace.
    Sometimes I think “Why can’t we all just get along?” why kill eachother over gods or greed?
    So yes, it’s hard for me living my life in a safe country with a safe life to imagine the pain you must feel. But it angers me a lot that ISIS and the like is doing this to innocent people.

    The problem is, if someone bombs ISIS, the civilians suffer as well. It’s a lose-lose situation. But let’s be hopeful. That is all one can be. It will be alright one day! It will be.

    You friend has found peace, i’m sure. May he rest on a thousand pillows.

    A guy from Scandinavia

  4. Thanks to you, you and your friend’s stories will not fall into oblivion. The kids who haven’t be taught reason and freedom will surely learn it quickly when peace settles in Mosul, as long as Mosulis are there to take care of them. I wish you courage for the times to come. Regards from France.

  5. Mosul, dont ever close your eye for death will conquer you the monment you do so. Continue to see, to feel, to reason until evil and death is defeated and peaceful times reigns again in Mosul.
    ISIL will soon drown in their own blood and the blood of those inocent souls they wasted to glorify evil and the devil. Their dead bodies will rot into oblivion!

  6. I found your post very moving. You have managed to preserve a compassionate and philosophical outlook in the midst of unspeakable horror; in this you are an example to us all. May your spirit remain indomitable and may God, if he exists, protect you and your family. And may Pazuzu wreak revenge on Daesh and destroy it utterly, so that not a single trace remains.

  7. Dear Mosul Eye,

    I have only discovered your blog a few days ago. I would like to thank you for all these incredibly brave feats of reporting that you have been providing us with, in spite of the threat those feats pose to your safety. I believe I remember a comment on one of your previous posts, stating how you had become increasingly optimistic in your tone of writing. It was that particular notion that made the style in which you conveyed your message in this post appear so worrisome to me. The idea of having the wordly presence of a dear friend torn away by a hovering, violent entity in an existential panic is an unthinkable concept to a Western European history student like me, while it must already be something inconceivable to the Mosulis, even after these years of violence and suppression. To live in a place that is being rigged into a nearly sarcastically sized suicide belt is an awareness that I cannot even begin to comprehend. I try to understand the shift from your warm optimism to this icey spirit of desparity. And while I can logically reason the argumentational grounds for this turn of affairs, it still feels as distant knowledge, overruled by my desire to see the people of Mosul liberated from the burden of death. Overruled by my desire to see the people of Mosul smile optimistically. I sense an awareness of approaching death in the way you speak and the topics you mention. I write this comment because I would like to express that someone thousands of kilometers away appreciates the work you do. I appreciate you as an historian. I appreciate you as a journalist. I appreciate you as a Mosuli. And I appreciate you as a fellow human being.

    Please stay safe.

    With the kindest of regards,

    A Concerned Dutchman

  8. We are, many of us, watching both horrified and hopeful that this EVIL is destroyed and that the good people of Iraq are saved. An old civilisation that invented WRITING made into a living hell by this so call religion. So very deeply sad to read your account, and imagine how many others (in Iraq and Syria) are suffering because of these demented/deluded ignorants that know nothing about life. Wishing you & all the good people of Iraq a safe and prosperous future, carved out of love, tolerance & reason.

  9. My deapest condolences for the loss of you friend. For you and his familiy and his friends. Please pass this on if you find it appropriate. You discribe him like a friend anybody only can hope for. Möge er in Frieden ruhen.

    This war is going to be over soon. IS is, since today, under distress in Raqqa too. I hope, that they are surrender soon. Caught, without any harm, and brought in front of a (international?) court, where anyone of them will find his sentence individually. A lifetime in prison as the maximum. I know, that is a lot to ask. And naive. But the only way I can think of. There can not be revenge. Not even justice. But there can be protection from them. I hope the children of Mosul will soon get out of the influence of IS.

    And, always, write, what you want to write. Dont worry about us. We can always simly turn away from our screens, if we cannot handle it anymore. Its so freaking easy for us. I sometimes do. I shamefully have to admit.

    Why do I think of Britney Spears? I am not even a fan. Odd.
    Stay save.

  10. You now have friends that extend their powerful love and care through your blog. We can never replace your dearest friend. But you are NOT alone.
    Do not fear for the future. Humans are so extremely resilient. Love will heal. A new generation will heal the pain further, with love too. It has been proven so many times. Joy will come again, eventually. Music will heal their souls. The evil will not win.
    If you or your family face death, then REMEMBER, not one of you, will ever be alone again. All will be waiting. I know.
    Hold onto this truth tightly, you have the power within.

  11. I m sure all this horrendous times of barbarism will soon end. You are a very brave and sensitive person. I know that being sourounded with “death” is a very hard life challenge. But I want you to know that things can change everytime and dont have to be necesarily that way(future is not written, although the threats). I hope that you dont lose your faith and your hope!!! Don’t forgett your dreams and ilussions because that is the proof of life. I think the people have learnt the lesson from this two last horrible years. Never, never again!! I send you much ecouragement and I want you to know that your are not alone, Greetings from Spain!!

  12. Dear Mosul Eye. If sharing your sorrow helps, please don’t feel bad, it allows us to do something. I understand the oblivion you are living through and it makes me humble to think of you smiling. The children you speak of will need help to talk and understand their experiences. You are there and your light is so important to keep burning. When things are different you can spread that light. Where I live there are many of us watching and helping where we can. I volunteer for Save the Children and help raise funds for the displaced people from Mosul. On Wednesday I will go to donate clothes and food. We can keep the light of peace and love alive for the future. We can help all the victims of hatred, whoever they may be and on which side they are fighting. We wish you well.

  13. Helplessness, anxiety, despair…
    But also hope
    The light of my candle is burning for them, for their family, their city, their country…
    our world

  14. Dearest Mosul Eye,
    I have followed you on your journey through hell since the beginning, from Facebook to WordPress to Twitter. I have held my breath throughout each of your sporadic periods of silence and hiding. I’ve followed your expressions of defiance, anxiety, fear, hopelessness and finally hope. With each change I’ve wanted to reach out and tell you to be safe, to hold on, to have hope, to tell you that there is at least one other soul out there to witness your journey through hell. You’ve moved me to tears on more than one ocassion. I’ve waited anxiously praying you hadn’t been discovered with each silence.
    Mosul Eye, please hold on, please do not give in now. Please, do not let these inhuman monsters win over the human spirit.
    I feel that what you have achieved is testament to the strength and beauty of the human spirit on par with the likes of Anne Frank and is a testament and singular force to everything that denies Evil, that denies the evil of ISIS.

  15. […] In 2014, the Iraqi city of Mosul was captured by ISIS. As historian Dr Omar Mohammed recounted via Mosul Eye – the blog he wrote to document what was happening – there followed two years of brutal conflict and oppression, as ISIS imposed harsh new rules on women and persecuted religious and ethnic minorities.[i] Attempts by Iraqi forces to recapture the city culminated in the long-drawn-out Battle of Mosul (2016-17), when ISIS was finally driven out.[ii] The violence surrounding Mosul’s liberation was as terrible as that perpetrated during its occupation – violence that left terrible psychological as well as physical scars.[iii] As Dr Mohammed wrote on 6th November 2016: […]

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