Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The old city of Mosul

This a picture of the old city of Mosul.
There are two famous structure appeared here, the bowed minaret of the great Mosque in Mosul and the clock's church, together with multiple smallmosques and churches.

This picture has been taken many years ago. The city has been changed alot since then.


GPV said...

I'm affraid to see what it became.

GPV said...

You're right to post something else,after 278 comments,previous post got some success.

Don Cox said...

From the photos I see of modern Iraq, it seems that the countryside is beautiful, especially in the North, but the cities are all extremely ugly. Wires everywhere, houses that look as though they were thrown up overnight by crooked builders, roads out of repair. It looks as though the citizens take no pride in their cities.

Truth teller said...

don cox

The photos you seen of modern Iraq, are probably taken at the period of Saddam rules, where there were a strict sanction on every movement toward civilization, except for Saddam and his alliances. At that time and till now there were a severe shortage of elecricity, so the people depend on a big generators placed in every neighborhood to supply the houses and the shops with electricity. Those wire you saw are for these generators. The roads are till now with out repair. Don't believe who say there are construction going on in Iraq. The first interest for the citizen now is to live in peace, and to returne home at the end of the day alive.

Truth teller said...

don cox

This is a quote from an American who was in Iraq, about reconstruction"I was in Iraq to research the so-called reconstruction. And what struck me most was the absence of reconstruction machinery, of cranes and bulldozers, in downtown Baghdad. I expected to see reconstruction all over the place.

I saw bulldozers in military bases. I saw bulldozers in the Green Zone, where a huge amount of construction was going on, building up Bechtel's headquarters and getting the new US embassy ready. There was also a ton of construction going on at all of the US military bases. But, on the streets of Baghdad, the former ministry buildings are absolutely untouched. They hadn't even cleared away the rubble, let alone started the reconstruction process.

The one crane I saw in the streets of Baghdad was hoisting an advertising billboard. One of the surreal things about Baghdad is that the old city lies in ruins, yet there are these shiny new billboards advertising the glories of the global economy. And the message is: "Everything you were before isn't worth rebuilding." We're going to import a brand-new country. It is the Iraq version of the "Extreme Makeover."

The full article is here.

waldschrat said...

I read one report in another blog (I forget where) that some repairs to the Mosul water system were recently completed. Is there any evidence that is true?

Truth teller said...


There were a repair to the Mosul water syetem, completed..? Definitely not.
Yes there is water in the water pipes, but the important thing is the quality of that water.

The problem here is; The pipelines of the water supply distribution system in Mosul is situated at level lower than the level of the groundwater. The pipelines network is very old, and full of fractures and cracks. This allowed for the exchange of water between the out side and the inside of the pipelines.
The processes of purification and sterilization of water will be lost in the way before water reaches the houses. This has led to out brake of many infectious diseases as Typhoid fever, Infective hepatitis, Amebic dysentery... and so on.
In conclusion: The water supply for domestic use IS not safe for human consumption.

You can judge by your self if that repport is true or not.

Anonymous said...

don't forget that at summer there is a general shortage in water supply that every house in some neighbourhoods has to use water-pumps to have the minimum amount as to maintain their daily life.
this process in addition to the bad situation of the old unrepaired main pipes result in mixing the clean water (if any)with the ground and sewerage water and I'll let you imagine the consequences . you may add this to the account of the late sanctions my dear friends

Anonymous said...

Truth Teller,

Thank you for posting the picture. I am pleasantly surprised at the prominence of the Christian clock tower. (Islam is the fastest growing religion in the US, and I trust that some US cities will have, or already have, equally prominent minarets.)

The Naomi Klein article is interesting. I have seen several other reports claiming that President Bush and various influential persons in, or associated with, the US Defense Department had ambitious physical, political, and economic goals for transforming Iraq. On the other hand, the actual head of the Defense Department, Secretary Rumsfeld, had different, less ambitious goals. Mr. Rumsfeld just wanted to remove Saddam and his immediate circle and remove US troops as soon as possible. I think he has tried to carry out the President's intentions. I doubt that he made many preparations to do so before the end of the conventional fighting.

Reports routinely say that reconstruction is hindered, or paralyzed, by security problems. If these statements are correct, then it is not surprising that construction would be concentrated where security is at its best: in the Green Zone and on Coalition bases. One of the general questions I, and others, have is this: Is construction proceding well in the areas of Iraq where security is better? and If not, why not? (Since you are in Mosul, where security is bad, these are not questions that I would expect you to be able to answer.)

May you and your family have peace and health.

Michael in Framingham

Anonymous said...

Truth Teller,

About your kidney. I have sleep apnea and was taught that, during proper sleep, the human body slows urine production. Maybe this fact affects how you should schedule consumption of food and water during the hours of the day and night. You probably already know all about this point; if not, maybe it will help a little.

Michael in Framingham

Hurria said...

"I am pleasantly surprised at the prominence of the Christian clock tower."

I am not sure why you would be surprised. Mosul is on the site of Ninewah, the ancient capital of the Assyrians, who were among the earliest converts to Christianity, and who predate the Arabs and the Muslims in Mesopotamia by centuries. The Mosul region has always had the highest proportion of Christians, and it also boasts what I believe is the oldest church in continuous use in the world. It is a very simple brown structure and has a domed roof with a small cross on the top. The Americans have damaged this historical treasure numerous times with their "precision" weapons.

Mesopotamia, later Iraq, has always had one of the most if not THE most religiously, and ethno/linguistically diverse native populations. In addition, Iraqis have easily accepted the in-migration of other groups, such as the Armenians, many of whom were protected from the Turks at great risk to their Iraqi protectors. The Armenian community very quickly became an integral part of the Iraqi social and cultural fabric.

At the level of the society all Iraqis intermix freely in the neighborhoods, in schools, at work, on business and pleasure, and intermarriage is common among all the Muslim groups, and even between Christian women and Muslim men(Islamic law makes marriage of a Muslim woman to a Christian man difficult, but that does happen too). Muslim and Christians neighbors and co-workers often visit each other's homes and share holiday festivities for Christmas, for the fast-breaking meal during RamaDan and for the Muslim `Eids. Years ago when my auntie came from the Haj, among the visitors who came to congratulate her and hear about her experience were several Christians.

Exadios said...

Here is a report about another water reconstruction project.

waldschrat said...

In the U.S. a lot of water piping is pretty old, but I suspect parts of Iraq have stuff that's truly "ancient".

Municipal water piping systems tend to be replaced or improved very rarely and reluctantly because they are so extensive, hard to get at (buried and concealed) and hard to take out of service even temporarily without disrupting people's lives.

In the U.S., potable water supply is only part of the water supply task in most cities. Municipal water systems in the U.S. are usually also used for fire protection. The pipe diameters needed for potable water are relatively small. The diameters necessary for adequate fire protection (supply to fire hydrants) are much larger. Almost all cities in the U.S. have water systems that serve a dual purpose, providing potable water and water to put out large fires. The only city I am aware of that has a separate fire supply system is San Francisco, and that is only in part of the city, I think, much of the city has a dual-purpose system.

What this means is that possibly a separate system running at relatively high presure using small diameter pipe might be relatively easy to develop, particularly if the intention was strictly to provide safe drinking water.

Sorry, this is rambling. I guess that's what it sounds like when a sleepy engineer dreams about water supply systems.

Questions I would be curious about:

1. Do Iraqis drink only bottled water? Or do they purify (boil/filter/chlorinate) water from the municipal system?

2. Are there any neighborhood arrangements for supplying pure drinking water like there are for providing neighborhood electrical generators?

Hurria said...

"In the U.S. a lot of water piping is pretty old, but I suspect parts of Iraq have stuff that's truly "ancient"."

Unlike the U.S., Iraq has lots of stuff that has been bombed by the U.S. with varying degrees of intensity and repetition over the past 14 years.

waldschrat said...

Corrosion over many years, earthquake and land subsidence, obsolescence, and occaisional unauthorized excavations are the enemies of underground water piping.

Hurria said...

So is repeated bombing by half ton and one ton bombs.

Anonymous said...

Don Cox above said "It looks as though the (Iraqi) citizens take no pride in their cities." It seems a strange remark to make about some of the oldest cities in the world.
I live in New Zealand, the last major land mass to be settled by humans - our most ancient building is less than 200 years old. Even so, I get a sense of history when visiting some of our older houses, an awareness of the several generations that have lived there. Looking at our photo, I cannot imagine what it would be like to live in a house that has stood for several hundred years, how the past would be so strongly part of the present. I wonder how old the most continuously inhabited building in a place like Mosul would be? Hurria refers to a Church that has apparently stood for at least 1500 years.
Presumably the most ancient buildings in Fallujah are now mostly rubble - the New World way of "liberating" the Old World, I suppose. Never mind, one day Fallujah will be rebuilt, with a Big Mac and a Kentucky Fried Kebab on every corner.
This is so absurd, the idea of ancient Iraq being remade by a nation that was born in rebellion, matured in a civil war, prospered on the genocide of its native inhabitants, and for most of its history has treated a large percentage of its people cruelly and unjustly simply because of their skin colour. And by the sound of places like Los Angeles, takes no pride in its cities.

Don Cox said...

""In the U.S. a lot of water piping is pretty old, but I suspect parts of Iraq have stuff that's truly "ancient"."Unlike the U.S., Iraq has lots of stuff that has been bombed by the U.S. with varying degrees of intensity and repetition over the past 14 years." There was also a big bomb set by the insurgents to blow up a main water pipe in Baghdad a few weeks ago. I think repairs would go faster if the contractors were not being threatened and even killed by insurgents.

Don Cox said...

For the anonymous New Zealander - I didn't say the buildings look old, and I am not talking about the photo posted here but the photos of Iraqi cities today. There is nothing wrong with old buildings - some of the most beautiful cities, such as Venice, have mostly old buildings. What I see in the photos are lots of ugly modern buildings, and general mess. As though there were no architects in Iraq. There also seem to be very few trees or parks.

Hurria said...

"I think repairs would go faster if the contractors were not being threatened and even killed by insurgents."

There would be no need for repairs if not for the tens of thousands of tons of bombs the Americans have dropped there, not to mention 13 nearly 13 years of the most comprehensive economic sanctions ever.

There would also be no "insurgents" without the assistence of the Bush administration.

Anonymous said...

"What I see in the photos are lots of ugly modern buildings, and general mess. As though there were no architects in Iraq. There also seem to be very few trees or parks"
Don Cox :this is also one of the numerous shadows of the isolation of Iraq for 13 long years,isn't it ?

Hurria said...

Don Cox, it appears you missed this comment from Truth Teller:

"The first interest for the citizen now is to live in peace, and to returne home at the end of the day alive."

Thanks to the U.S. there is no peace at all in Iraq, and thanks to the U.S., returning home at the end of the day alive is never a certainty, even for those 1) who have homes left undestroyed, 2) whose access to their homes is not blocked, and 3) are able to leave their homes,

Even being safe inside one's own home is never a certainty now, thanks to the U.S., because the sanctity of your home is under threat 24/7/365 from your "liberators" or their proxy Iraqi commandos (most of whom are former Ba`thist thugs recruited, appointed, equipped, and paid by the U.S.). You never know when the Americans will decide to bomb your neighborhood (or even your entire city) to dust on a mere rumour that someone they don't like is in one of the houses or a nearby building. You never know when you and your entire family will be buried alive in your home as a result of one of these bombings. If you are really blessed your entire town or city will be bombed to rubble, and most of its population killed or turned into permenent homeless, citiless refugees.

You never know when you and your family will be awakened to the sound of your gate being blasted open, your doors being broken down, and your house suddenly be filled with heavily armed, wild eyed strangers screaming at you in a language you don't understand, trashing your house, terrorizing your children, violating the privacy of the women of the home. These "liberators" throw people face down on the ground and smash their faces into the dirt with their boots on their necks. They use a stick with the obscenely racist name of "hajji be good stick" to beat up anyone, young or old, male or female, who makes a wrong move or speaks a word. They manhandle and slap around your elderly grandfathers and grandmothers.

Don Cox, I challenge you to try living for 48 hours in the conditions the U.S. has created for Iraqis, and then see just exactly how significant "pride in your cities" is to you.

Anonymous said...

I am interested in the health of the citizens of mosul. Are medical facilities in good repair? Are medications readily available? Is any of the rebuilding and reconstruction efforts we hear about occuring in the health sector?

SW said...

Wow. I left Mosul on the 15th of March. The so called insurgents ran from us the whole time, prefering to murder un-armed traffic policemen, attack city police stations, and set off bombs at weddings, killing innocent civilians. I acually lived in the city for most of the time. East and West sides of the river. One of our bases was less than a block away from the mosque that supposedly has jonahs whale or jonah inside... We would walk our sector everyday. Everywhere we went people said hello and thanked us for what we were doing. They made us Chai and kabobs (mmmmm, lamb :) ). Then we went too the west side and stayed in old mosul, near provincial hall. We had dinner with one family who said their house had been in their family for 250 years. I have some great pictures of the narrow streets and high buildings. Its like a maze, there are tunnels sometimes. Sometimes, the building entrances are sunk into the ground, almost like the roads just keep getting paved over. I loved Iraq, especially Mosul. Anyway, im just rambling now....

We rarely blow doors in. Most of the time we KNOCKED on the doors. We only kicked in doors when we went on raids. And if was the wrong house, we PAID FOR THE DAMAMGES. Most of the Iraqi military are too young to be baathist anything. Just young guys, trying to do the right thing for their country.
I have never even heard of a so called "hadji stick."

Maybe we should have left Mosul in the hands of Saddams sons (who were killed in Mosul). Im sure you would be in MUCH betters hands with those two (sarcasm fully intended). You accuse us of "violating the privacy of your women" by searching houses. Im sure you were MUCH safer with those two government protected child rapists roaming downtown Mosul.

strykerdad said...

SW---HOOAH, and thank you for your service. If you are looking for Truth, you won't find much here. I have heard many first hand accounts of American soldiers in Mosul and know of the heroic and professional actions of the vast majority and the friendship exhibited by many residents, though obviously not those who were coddled and protected by Sadam at the expense of so many others. I also know of the heroism of many Iraqis who are actually making an effort to secure their nation while other complain and point fingers--something much of the Arab culture seems to thrive upon. Pride and inferiority does truly strange and awful things to a culture with a 16th century sensiblility.

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