Students return to Iraq's war-weary Mosul University

Students return to Iraq's war-weary Mosul University

Despite damage sustained during Daesh's 3-year occupation, 45,000 students are now enrolled at Iraq's 2nd largest university

Yunus Keles and Hemn Baban

MOSUL, Iraq (AA) - Officials at the University of Mosul, much of which was reduced to rubble during Daesh’s three-year occupation of the city, are now voicing optimism for the university’s future.

Iraq’s second largest university still bears the scars of the violent clashes that occurred last year between the Iraqi army and the notorious terrorist group.

The university campus, many buildings of which have collapsed, remain badly pockmarked by bullet holes and traces of fire.

Nevertheless, an abundance of students -- running through the ruins to their classes -- suggest that the war-weary university stands on the cusp of renewal.

University spokesman Abdulkarim Hatroshi told Anadolu Agency on Monday that the university had recently opened its doors following years of closure thanks to support from the Iraqi government and some NGOs.

"Before it was captured by Daesh, the university had boasted 23 faculties, 120 departments and 120 laboratories,” Hatroshi said. “Now, roughly 70 percent of it has been either reduced to ruins or badly damaged.”

“For this reason, students frequently have to share the same classrooms and laboratories," he added.

According to Hatroshi, roughly 80 million books and electronic documents were destroyed when Daesh blew up the university library and its sizable printing house.

"Thankfully, the government has begun taking steps to resume full-time educational activities at the university,” he said.

“Now that its electrical infrastructure has been repaired, we expect it to soon return to its good old days," he added. “We just need more support.”

In mid-2014, Daesh overran vast swathes of territory in northern and western Iraq, including Mosul.

While only 11,000 students were enrolled at the university in 2017, that number has reached almost 45,000 for the current academic year.

Although it will probably take several years for the university to return to its pre-Daesh capacity, steadily rising student enrollment has already served to revive faculty morale, university officials assert.

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