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Photoblog: The rebuilding of Iraq begins in Qaraqosh Open in fullscreen

Alessio Mamo

Photoblog: The rebuilding of Iraq begins in Qaraqosh

Qaraqosh's Aramean-Syrian Catholic Church was destroyed by IS [Alessio Mamo]

Date of publication: 26 July, 2017

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After the destruction wrought by the Islamic State group, and the war to oust them, it is time for reconstruction to begin. Photos by Alessio Mamo.
Nearly three years after the capture of Qaraqosh, a town outside Mosul, by Islamic State group militants, the US-backed Iraqi army finally routed the extremist group.

Before IS over-ran the town, it was home to some 50,000 people, many of them Christians. Thousands were displaced across Iraq and beyond.

But the time has come to rebuild. Community leaders are trying to encourage Qaraqosh's former residents to return - but the scale of destruction from years of IS misrule, and the battle to oust them, is huge.

If people are to return to their homes in Qaraqosh, their homes will need to be rebuilt. 

And so a huge engineering project is beginning. 

Read Marta Bellingreri's feature, Iraq's women take the lead rebuilding after IS destruction, for more on this story. 

Almost every home in Qaraqosh will need rebuilding or extensive refurbishment [Alessio Mamo]
Engineers Lina al-Hissen (l) and Noor Kasmatti (c), both graduates from Mosul University who qualified just before the IS takeover, are leading architectural surveys of the town's buildings [Alessio Mamo] 
This was once a family's living room. If family life is to return to Qaraqosh, its housing stock will have to be rebuilt and restored [Alessio Mamo]
Lina al-Hissen's family were among the last to leave her neighbourhood. Now she's back to help rebuild it [Alessio Mamo]
Noor Kasmatti checks the damage to the ceiling of a room in which the resident family gathered all their belonging, fearful of the building collapsing [Alessio Mamo]
The project started with photographers documenting the destruction. When their photos reached a wider audience, charitable donations and structured funding began to arrive [Alessio Mamo]
Every part of this town bears the scars of three years of IS occupation, and the battle to 'liberate' it from them [Alessio Mamo]
The bishop of Nineveh province led a march and religious ceremony to declare the beginning of the rebuilding and the return of the people of Qaraqosh [Alessio Mamo]
Abuna George, a local priest, told assembled engineers and residents that the town needed homes - with ceiling fans. Temperatures in this part of Iraq can hit 50C in the long summer [Alessio Mamo]
There is a huge amount of work ahead for the engineers and architects and labourers of Qaraqosh. But the project to restore the city, and restore hope, has begun [Alessio Mamo]

Alessio Mamo is a Sicilian photojournalist focused on matters of social, political and economic importance. Follow his work on Twitter: @AlessioMamo

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