Mosul's damaged oldest mosque holds Eid prayers

Worshippers hold Eid prayers in the courtyard of al-Masfi mosque, the oldest in Mosul, for the first time since the Iraqi city was heavily damaged during the war against Islamic State that ended in 2017.

Al-Masfi is still largely in ruins and volunteers organized the prayers, which mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, to call for the rebuilding of the mosque and the Old City in which it lies.

This is volunteer Ayyub Dhanun:

"Really, this brings joy to Mosul that's been missing for four years. We're happy because of Eid and other celebrations, but also heartbroken that Mosul is still destroyed. This is a call to rebuild this monument and to compensate Mosul residents by rebuilding their houses in old Mosul."

The Ummayad-era mosque dates back to the 7th century, so it's one of the oldest in the Muslim world.

Ahead of Eid, volunteers cleaned the mosque to welcome worshippers on Thursday morning (May 13).

People came from all over the city to join the prayers and see life breathed into the old mosque.

Since the liberation of Mosul, little has been done to restore its historic Old City; leaving it to volunteer groups to raise awareness through events and campaigns.