- Title: From violence to coexistence: Mosul celebrates diversity
- Date: 29th September 2019
- Summary: MOSUL, IRAQ (SEPTEMBER 27, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE PERFORMING FOLK DANCE / MEN PLAYING MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS RESIDENTS WALKING TOWARDS THE FESTIVAL HELD IN MOSUL'S FOREST WHICH ISLAMIC STATE MILITANTS USED FOR TRAINING NEW RECRUITS VARIOUS OF FAMILIES AT FESTIVAL / MUSIC PLAYING IN BACKGROUND YOUNG PEOPLE LEAVING NOTES ON BOARD
- Embargoed: 13th October 2019 14:29
- Keywords: Community Festival Coexistence Dance Peace Sects Mosul Religion Arts
- Location: MOSUL, IRAQ
- City: MOSUL, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA001AYPMXJP
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Residents of the once war-torn city of Mosul held their third World Peace Festival on Friday (September 27), celebrating diversity and coexistence through music, dance, and art.
The festival was held in one of Mosul's verdant eastern forests, which was once occupied by Islamic State militants for the purpose of training fighters during times of war, said the co-ordinator of the festival, Saqir Zakariya.
The northern Iraqi city was liberated approximately two years ago after being occupied by Islamic State militants for three years. Under the militant group's strict interpretation of Islamic law, religious diversity was rare.
The festival is part of a joint effort by residents of the city to promote peace, security, and coexistence post-liberation, and was organised by a group of 100 young volunteers.
Artists and musicians of different religions and sects brought the festival to life, showcasing the city's unique culture and heritage through musical performances, talent shows, as well as art exhibitions and booths.
Many from different backgrounds participated in the festival, from Arabs, Kurds, and Turkomen to Shebak, Yazidis, Christians and Muslims, said the Head of the Sufism bureau in Iraq's Nineveh, Rami al-Abadi.
Mosul was long celebrated as a centre of Iraqi culture but was suppressed even before Islamic State declared its caliphate in 2014, with Al Qaeda targeting musicians in the wake of a U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
The festival ran from September 27 to 28, and was attended by thousands from Mosul and other Iraqi provinces.
(Nadeen Ebrahim, Mohamed Katfan, Maher Nazeh, Kawa Omar)
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