When the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or Daesh) captured Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul in 2014, it heralded a period of unimaginable terror and destruction. A young man named Omar, writing under the penname of ‘Mosul Eye’, secretly reported from the besieged city unveiling to the world apocalyptic scenes as militants desperately searched for him. For the first time, Mosul and the Islamic State tells the untold stories from inside the Islamic State’s reign of terror over this ancient city, the pursuit of justice in its aftermath, and the enduring struggle of its people for a better future.
This podcast is hosted by Omar Mohammed, written by Haroro Ingram, with audio editing by Andrew Mines. To learn more about the work that informed this podcast, please see: The ISIS Reader: Milestone Texts of the Islamic State Movement, the Mosul Eye website, and The Long Jihad.
The music featured in this podcast is written and performed by Ameen Mokdad, and the artwork is produced by Farah al-Yousif.
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Green Mosul Climate Change International Forum: Challenges and Future Solutions
To celebrate the end of the “Green Mosul'' initiative, launched in April 2022 at the Northern Technical University and sponsored by the Crisis and Support Center of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Program on Extremism is pleased to support the inauguration of the first international forum on climate change in Mosul.
Bringing together scholars, public officials, national and international organizations, and climate activists, in Mosul, this forum is a unique opportunity to discuss climate change and climate action, future challenges and solutions. More than 9000 trees planted later, Mosul Eye’s “Green Mosul” initiative is coming to an end. But this also marks a new beginning, as the people of Mosul have planted the seeds of a green future for the city. Indeed, launched in March 2021 with the support of the Crisis and Support Center of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Green Mosul” played an instrumental part in promoting urban greening as a means towards postwar stabilization and in raising awareness about climate change.
Program on Extremism research fellow Omar Mohammed has played a key role in supporting the Green Mosul Initiative. Omar continues to advocate for the recovery and cultural heritage of his native city of Mosul. The work of the Mosul Eye Association, the organization founded after his anonymous blogger name of 'Mosul Eye' from under Islamic State occupation, has been vital to securing a greener city for generations to come.
Program on Extremism senior research fellow Dr. Haroro Ingram attended the Forum to present on the role of innovation and youth in climate action and cultural heritage, as well as to moderate a panel discussing the importance of international and local collaboration. Haroro is the writer and co-host alongside Omar Mohammed of Mosul and the Islamic State, a Program on Extremism podcast series.
Mosul and the Islamic State: The Road Ahead
On September 21 at 10AM EST, the Program on Extremism hosted a special event to launch the final episode of Mosul & the Islamic State featuring a line-up of keynote speakers from Iraq. The opening session focused on the opportunities and challenges associated with the pursuit of justice for victims of Daesh crimes, the experiences of Mosuli women before and after Daesh occupation, and the role of the arts in rehabilitating the city and its people. This session was chaired by Program on Extremism senior research fellow Haroro Ingram, with keynote speakers featuring:
- Murad Ismael, Co-Founder and President, Sinjar Academy
- Natia Navrouzov, Legal Advocacy Directory, Yazda
- Ameen Mokdad, Mosuli musician
- Asma Khalid, Mosuli entrepreneur
- Ahmad Al Basheer, Iraqi comedian, journalist, and host of the Albasheer Show
A moderated discussion featuring Program on Extremism research fellow Omar Mohammed followed to formally launch both the final episode of the podcast and to release the research paper that informed the series, The Long Jihad. This four-part podcast series tells the untold stories from the Islamic State’s reign of terror over the city of Mosul, the pursuit of justice in its aftermath, and the enduring struggle of its people for a better future.
Statement by Karim Khan QC, Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court
At our launch event for Episode 1: Creating Monsters, we were joined by Karim Khan QC, Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, as well as by former CIA Director General David Petraeus, The Atlantic's Graeme Wood, and University of Ninevah Law School Dean Professor Zeena Ghanim. You can watch the event recording here.
In his statement, Karim Khan offered praise for Omar's work as Mosul Eye and reflected on the important roles that justice and vigilance must play in helping the city of Mosul heal and recover. A transcript of his full remarks is available here, and you can watch his full statement below.