A year on: Life returns to Mosul's ruins
Father of five Safwan, 43, stands inside his home in the old city of Mosul, which was damaged extensively during the battle for liberation. “Living here was hell,” he explained, referring to the years he and his family lived in Mosul under ISIS occupation. “They (ISIS) killed everyone. They destroyed everything.”
He and his family fled their home in July 2017 during the final phase of the battle to retake the city’s historic centre. “ISIS was very close to us so we left the house and walked to Al Nuri mosque because the Iraqi Army was there,” he said. “We thought we were going to die anyway if we stay or leave, so we decided to leave.”
Safwan returned to his home in February 2018 to begin making repairs so he can bring his family back.