Mosul musicians who show their instruments in public are harassed and criticised. At one stage, they would have been killed for playing. Yet as conditions in the conservative city improve, so does some young people’s dedication to music.
Amin, Younis and Mustafa are students studying the sciences at the University of Mosul. The oldest is 23. And they’re also all musicians. Like so many young men all around the world, the trio are trying to make a success of their band. But almost immediately they have run into problems specific to the troubled northern Iraqi city of Mosul in which they live.
Mosul, with its complicated mix of ethnicities and religious sects, saw its fair share of sectarian violence during Iraq’s most troubled years, and remains a relatively conservative city today. And one of the first challenges faced by the would-be band was the sign at the entrance to their university which reads: “Musical Instruments Are Not Allowed Inside The University Campus”.