Through his anonymous blog Mosul Eye, the Sunni historian Omar Mohammed documented the atrocities in the years of the "caliphate". The arrival of the pontiff in his city is a dream come true: "he will also show us Iraqis that the only way forward is to accept each other"
Mosul (AsiaNews) - “The world in the coming days will see Mosul through the eyes of Pope Francis. And this is also very important for the inhabitants of our city,” says Professor Omar Mohammed. In an exclusive video testimony to the PIME missionary center in Milan, the young historiian who teaches at Mosul University became known world over during the darkest years of the city for posting news on the atrocities committed by the Islamic State through the anonymous blog Mosul Eye.
A Sunni Muslim, today a Professor, Mohammed is one of the intellectuals who has been courageously campaigning for the return of Christian communities to Mosul and the preservation of the plurality and cultural heritage of the city.
Already when Isis was being defeated, he had asked universities around the world to donate books to rebuild the city library, burned by fundamentalist fury. The solidarity chain which he launched on social media worked: thousands of volumes were donated enabling them to reopen the structure in record time. With his blog Mosul Eye, Professor Mohammed then went on to talk about the rebirth of music and art in the city, the resumption of small businesses, the challenge helping those who had been forced into exile to return.
Speaking from Iraq, Mohammed describes Pope Francis' visit - expected for Saturday 7 March in Mosul - as a dream come true. "I lived for more than two years - he says in the video - under the brutal government of the so-called Islamic State which destroyed our culture and our history, deported Christians from their cities, enslaved the Yazidis, and also killed many Muslims."
He explains that he found refuge in a phrase he heard from Pope Francis in one of his audiences: “Love by its nature is creative, love is always creative." The Professor believes that these words can heal the wounds of Mosul.
"This visit - he adds - will shine the global spotlight on Mosul, but also send the right message to its people: the only way forward is to accept one another. This visit brings us the hope we have long lost. We are very confident in the wisdom of Pope Francis. He will be able to approach issues carefully and tell the world what he sees. We simply can't wait to meet him.”