After IS massacre, Hatra opens up to tourism

 Monday, September 12, 2022 


Declared by UNESCO as an endangered world heritage site, Hatra is an ancient city in Iraq which dates back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries BC.

From Mosul, a major city in Iraq, Hatra is a two-hour drive. After the IS group capture, in 2017, Mosul was recaptured by the Iraqi forces once again and an international alliance that supported them.

On Saturday, a tour of the site was arranged by a private museum in Mosul, targeted to improve the local tourism.

Around 40 Iraqi visitors were permitted to explore the 2,000-year-old archaeological site in the golden hour of twilight.

In front of the remarkable colonnades, the visitors got busy in taking selfies and enquired about the reliefs damaged by IS jihadists.

A 33-year-old on tour, Luna Batota, with her Belgian husband, said that it has a great history to fall back, allowing taking a glance into their ancient civilization.

She told AFP that a lot of history but at the same time a lot of ill-fated scenarios took place here with IS.

In Belgium, Batota works for a pharmaceutical company. There she has lived since she was nine years. After, twenty-four years, this is the first time she returns her motherland.

For her, coming to Hatra stirred up mixed feelings. She said that one will see bullet holes and see many empty bullets as well.

Hatra, a crucial trading centre under the Parthian empire, had striking fortifications and magnificent temples.

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