September 18, 2021

National Youth Film Festival

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How did Egypt win the battle for the reconstruction of Iraq?

On the afternoon of June 17, 2017, hours before a historic crime, ISIS waged its final battle in the alleys of the city of Mosul, hiding in the midst of its old homes, and sheltering inside the walls of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri. Here, in the same place three years ago, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appeared and proclaimed himself Caliph of the Muslims, and his black flag flickered over the humpback lighthouse, whose history goes back more than eight centuries. It was only after more minutes of raging battles that the time and place had changed. As the fighting was intense in the vicinity of the mosque, and the Iraqi army was advancing little by little, a loud explosion was heard, which was nothing but the explosion of the mosque, which became a rubble.

The humpback lighthouse, which witnessed the rise of the star of ISIS, also witnessed its thunderous fall. But the Al-Nuri Mosque remained ashes while various countries competed for the cake for the reconstruction of Iraq. Competition seems to be on its way to a resolution recently, after I was chosen An Egyptian company to implement a project to restore parts of the old city of Mosul, at the heart of which is the historic mosque, in a sign of the escalation of the Egyptian role in Iraq far from the spotlight. Cairo has been working hard and silently for some time in a country that many have forgotten during the past decade, after it was in the center of the limelight during the American occupation of it in 2003 and throughout the decades of the 1980s and 1990s due to its long war with Iran and the controversial invasion of Kuwait.

Since its invasion by the Americans in 2003 and the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime; Iraq has lost its long-standing regional influence and struck by corruption, instability and civil violence. Although Cairo did not have good relations with Saddam Hussein’s regime, it did not view the new and fragile Iraqi regime at the time in a positive light, especially after the Shiite opposition took the lead in the political scene, and what arose in its ranks between the loyalists of the Shiite authority in the city of Najaf, Iraq, and the supporters of the rival reference. In the city of Qom, Iran, which Egypt has been wary of its regional role since its Islamic revolution, and does not maintain full diplomatic relations with it to this day. Until a while Acquired ISIS occupies a third of Syria, and 40% of the area of ​​Iraq; Egypt did not move to participate militarily in the international coalition against ISIS, and it refrained from getting involved in the complex scene in Baghdad, preoccupied with internal and regional files more vital to it. However, the limited trade exchange between the two countries He started jumping To remarkable levels in 2018, as a herald of a close and growing relationship that did not receive the necessary attention.

Abstinence was never the theme of Egyptian policy towards Iraq until recently, as Cairo participated in the war to liberate Kuwait after Saddam Hussein’s invasion in 1991, and while the Iraqi president expected Egyptian neutrality, given To host In that era, there were about five million Egyptian workers. Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak found no choice but to let his old friend down. And join The international coalition has about 45 thousand fighters. By participating, Egypt, in return, avoided a major financial crisis, as the Egyptian economist Jalal Amin V. His book “The Story of Egypt’s Foreign Debt”After six months of the war, Egypt obtained pledges of financial aid amounting to four billion and 726 million pounds from the Gulf states, in addition to America’s exempting Egypt of $ 13.7 billion of its foreign debts. As a result, Egypt’s debt decreased from $ 47.6 billion in 1990 to $ 24 billion in 1994.