A selection of photographs, produced on assignment for L’Espresso magazine, about the reconstruction and agricultural revitalization of Qaraqosh, an ancient Christian city in northern Iraq, after its liberation from ISIS occupation.
Salam Yaqoob Yousif in his small farm. The farm, abandoned with the arrival of Daesh, was reactivated after the liberation of Qaraqosh thanks to international aids. Photo by Giuseppe Fanizza
The farm of Salam Yaqoob Yousif. The calves, along with feedingstuff and veterinary services for one year, were supplied to Yousif within an internationally funded agricultural revitalization program.
Najib, former teacher, fought from 1980 to 1983 and lost his right arm in the war between Iran and Iraq. He is one of the recipients of a contribution of 25 sheep, 25 calves, 12.5 tons of feed and veterinary services for one year, in the framework of an international agricultural revitalization program.
Veterinarian Jolar Kaka performs a medical examination on calves at a farm re-started after the liberation of Qaraqosh, along with Khaer Hays Kathm, a Muslim of the Kaka’i minority, who lives and works at the farm, which is owned by a local Christian entrepreneur.
Shamama, a Muslim woman of kaka’i minority (here with her grandchildren) lives and works in a farm owned by a local Christian entrepeneur. Several Muslim families from the area surrounding Qaraqosh are employed in local Christian farms.
Haitham Mati, a primary school teacher, fled to Sulaimaniya (Kurdistan) during the occupation of Daesh and came back to restart a small calf farm with her sister Ekhlas. The company is among the beneficiaries of livestock, equipment and materials within an international project for the revival of the local agricultural sector.
A meeting of the beneficiaries at the Supreme Church Board for Reconstruction Baghdeda, an organization collecting donations from around the world to rebuild houses destroyed in the region.
Aernan, logistic assistant at the Church Supreme Board for Reconstruction Baghdeda.
Athraa Dhia, a student from Qaraqosh, in the cafeteria of the St. Paul Center for Church Services, a social center run by the local Catholic church that provides recreational spaces and free classes for the city’s kids. The center, heavily damaged by Daesh militias, was rebuilt and reopened thanks to international donations.
Dany El Haddad, a Lebanese project manager working for an international ONG, speaks at a meeting of farmers who received a donation in the framework of a local agricultural revitalization project. The project is funded by the Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), part of the US State Department, which requires the recipient organizations to display the American flag next to the logo of the organization.
The new Qaraqosh stadium built in an area of new residential neighborhoods. The arrival of Daesh interrupted the realization of the project and now the stadium lies isolated and abandoned.
Students at the Sport College in Qaraqosh. It was built by the Iraqi government in April 2007, destroyed by Daesh during the occupation of Qaraqosh and it is now partially renewed thanks to international aid.
Workshop onwers in the car repair district in downtown Qaraqosh.
A monumental cross marks the place of the burial of Saint Kyriakos, considered by the local population among the founders of the Christian community of Qaraqosh. It is indeed striking the similarity between the name Qaraqosh and Qyriaqos, the Arabic transliteration of the Greek name Kyriakos.
A young nun in the couryard of the Church of Al-Tahira (Immaculate Conception). The church was the scene of an extremely vicious destruction by Daesh militia and reopened in November 2016 concurrently with its ongoing restoration.
Father Georges Johola, among the first to return to Qaraqosh after liberation from Daesh, runs the Supreme Church Board for Reconstruction Baghdeda, an organization collecting donations from around the world to rebuild houses destroyed in the region. He is here portraied in his office at the headquarters of the organization. The organization has already completed repairs in over 3,000 homes.
A local worker uses a pressure washer to remove the burn stains from the walls during reconstruction work at the Church of Saints Benham and Sarah, burnt by Daesh. The restoration began in April 2019.
Sister Fabromia Kaas Butris in the teachrs room at the kindergarten “Infante Jesus” which she directs and which was restored between April and October 2017 thanks to donations by the international Christian community. Today it houses 500 children under the direction of the Dominican nuns. International NGOs continue to support the kindergarten with logistics, psychological assistance for children and training courses for teachers.
Noora with her little sister Domoa (their names can be translated respectively into Light and Tear), in one of the farms reactivated after the liberation of Qaraqosh. Their family is from the Kaka’i Muslim minority and lives and works in the farm. Several Muslim families from the regions surrounding Qaraqosh are employed in local farms owned by Christian local entrepreneurs.
Muslim kids walk in an agricultural area near Qaraqosh. Several Muslim families from the regions surrounding Qaraqosh are employed in local farms owned by Christian local entrepreneurs.