Conflict and Fragility

When life returns to Mosul
18 Apr 2019 19:30 - 21:30

This event is organised by Humanity House and the Clingendael Institute. For tickets click here

When life returns to Mosul

When the war against ISIS in Iraq is almost concluded, the eleven year-old Ala’ and her family who fled from Mosul want to return to their old homes and lives. But how do you build up a life when everything around you is destroyed? The documentary ‘City of Two Springs’ provides a pervasive and intimate perspective on the impact that war has on people. 

When the war with ISIS in Iraq is nearly over, Ala’ and her family want to return to their home in Mosul. When Ala’ is back, she notices what the devastating consequences of war on city life are. We follow the struggle of eleven-year-old Ala’ to give meaning to her life during and after the war. In the search for a new future, hope proves to be as valuable as scarce. 

Parallel to Ala’s story Lise Grande, head of the humanitarian mission of the United Nations, and Dutch ambassador Jan Waltmans, work around the clock to help people returning to Mosul safely. They are located in the same country as Ala’, but their worlds are endlessly far from each other.

City of two springs is a unique glimpse into the work of the international community in a war zone – from correct diplomacy to backroom politics – as well as an intriguing, intimate portrait of the impact of war and human resilience in the most difficult circumstances possible.

The film lasts a bit more than an hour. Afterwards we continue to talk about the film and the reconstruction of Mosul with various experts, including the directors of the film.


About the speakers

  • Frederick Mansell and Laurens Samson are the directors of the film City of Two Springs. Together, they have a company called DimDoc, with which they produce films. In their films and journalistic work they focus on the unknown stories behind the news, in which they mainly want to show the perceptions of their protagonists.
  • Ahmed Najm (via skype) is the director of Metrography, the first and only photo agency in Iraq. He is a photographer and safety trainer and has trained various photographers during the first battles with ISIS. He organizes an annual photo exhibition that takes place in five cities in Iraq, including in Mosul.
  • Nancy Ezzeddine is trained in economics and development. She is a junior researcher at Clingendael’s Conflict Research Unit. Her work focuses on understanding the impact of paramilitary groups on the political economy of Iraq and Libya. She previously worked as a consultant for the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies.