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Pictures | Wed Apr 19, 2017 | 11:30pm IST

Iraqi violinist returns to play Mosul after ISIS

Ameen Mukdad, a violinist from Mosul who lived under ISIS's rule for two and a half years where they destroyed his musical instruments, performs at Nabi Yunus shrine in eastern Mosul, Iraq, April 19, 2017. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

Ameen Mukdad, a violinist from Mosul who lived under ISIS's rule for two and a half years where they destroyed his musical instruments, performs at Nabi Yunus shrine in eastern Mosul, Iraq, April 19, 2017. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

Ameen Mukdad, a violinist from Mosul who lived under ISIS's rule for two and a half years where they destroyed his musical instruments, performs at Nabi Yunus shrine in eastern Mosul, Iraq, April 19, 2017. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
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Amid the bombed-out ruins of an ancient site revered by both Muslims and Christians in Mosul, Iraqi violinist Ameen Mukdad held a small concert in the city he was forced to flee by Islamic State militants.   REUTERS/ Muhammad Hamed

Amid the bombed-out ruins of an ancient site revered by both Muslims and Christians in Mosul, Iraqi violinist Ameen Mukdad held a small concert in the city he was forced to flee by Islamic State militants. REUTERS/ Muhammad Hamed

Amid the bombed-out ruins of an ancient site revered by both Muslims and Christians in Mosul, Iraqi violinist Ameen Mukdad held a small concert in the city he was forced to flee by Islamic State militants. REUTERS/ Muhammad Hamed
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As Mukdad played scores he had composed in secret while living under the militants' austere rule, explosions and gunfire could be heard from Mosul's western districts where U.S.-backed forces are still battling Islamic State for control.  REUTERS/ Muhammad Hamed

As Mukdad played scores he had composed in secret while living under the militants' austere rule, explosions and gunfire could be heard from Mosul's western districts where U.S.-backed forces are still battling Islamic State for control. REUTERS/...more

As Mukdad played scores he had composed in secret while living under the militants' austere rule, explosions and gunfire could be heard from Mosul's western districts where U.S.-backed forces are still battling Islamic State for control. REUTERS/ Muhammad Hamed
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"This is a place for all, not just one sect. Daesh represents no religion but is an ideology that suppresses freedom," Mukdad told Reuters, using a derogatory name for the militants. "Everything about Daesh is wrong."   REUTERS/ Muhammad Hamed

"This is a place for all, not just one sect. Daesh represents no religion but is an ideology that suppresses freedom," Mukdad told Reuters, using a derogatory name for the militants. "Everything about Daesh is wrong." REUTERS/ Muhammad Hamed

"This is a place for all, not just one sect. Daesh represents no religion but is an ideology that suppresses freedom," Mukdad told Reuters, using a derogatory name for the militants. "Everything about Daesh is wrong." REUTERS/ Muhammad Hamed
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Mukdad, 28, fled Mosul after Islamic State fighters stormed his house and confiscated his instruments, deeming his music a violation of their hardline interpretation of Sunni Islam. Wednesday's hour-long concert marked his first return to the city that was overrun by Islamic State in 2014.  REUTERS/ Muhammad Hamed

Mukdad, 28, fled Mosul after Islamic State fighters stormed his house and confiscated his instruments, deeming his music a violation of their hardline interpretation of Sunni Islam. Wednesday's hour-long concert marked his first return to the city...more

Mukdad, 28, fled Mosul after Islamic State fighters stormed his house and confiscated his instruments, deeming his music a violation of their hardline interpretation of Sunni Islam. Wednesday's hour-long concert marked his first return to the city that was overrun by Islamic State in 2014. REUTERS/ Muhammad Hamed
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Mukdad said he chose the Tomb of Jonas, or Mosque of the Prophet Younis, as the site is known by Muslims, to symbolize unity. "I want to take the opportunity to send a message to the world and send a strike against terrorism and all ideologies which restrict freedom that music is a beautiful thing," he said. "Everyone who opposes music is ugly."  REUTERS/ Muhammad Hamed

Mukdad said he chose the Tomb of Jonas, or Mosque of the Prophet Younis, as the site is known by Muslims, to symbolize unity. "I want to take the opportunity to send a message to the world and send a strike against terrorism and all ideologies which...more

Mukdad said he chose the Tomb of Jonas, or Mosque of the Prophet Younis, as the site is known by Muslims, to symbolize unity. "I want to take the opportunity to send a message to the world and send a strike against terrorism and all ideologies which restrict freedom that music is a beautiful thing," he said. "Everyone who opposes music is ugly." REUTERS/ Muhammad Hamed
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Mukdad advertised the concert venue and time on social media, a bold move in eastern Mosul at a time the militants still control the Old City across the Tigris river. Soldiers guarding the venue, which lies near the ancient Nineveh ruins, at first refused access after the boom of a nearby rocket rang out, saying they could not guarantee the public's safety. They later relented, and troops joined the applauding crowd.   REUTERS/ Muhammad Hamed

Mukdad advertised the concert venue and time on social media, a bold move in eastern Mosul at a time the militants still control the Old City across the Tigris river. Soldiers guarding the venue, which lies near the ancient Nineveh ruins, at first...more

Mukdad advertised the concert venue and time on social media, a bold move in eastern Mosul at a time the militants still control the Old City across the Tigris river. Soldiers guarding the venue, which lies near the ancient Nineveh ruins, at first refused access after the boom of a nearby rocket rang out, saying they could not guarantee the public's safety. They later relented, and troops joined the applauding crowd. REUTERS/ Muhammad Hamed
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Under Islamic State rule, entertainment was banned. But in defiance of the militants, Mukdad continued to play at home alone or quietly with a dwindling circle of fellow musicians, closing windows to avoid detection.   REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

Under Islamic State rule, entertainment was banned. But in defiance of the militants, Mukdad continued to play at home alone or quietly with a dwindling circle of fellow musicians, closing windows to avoid detection. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

Under Islamic State rule, entertainment was banned. But in defiance of the militants, Mukdad continued to play at home alone or quietly with a dwindling circle of fellow musicians, closing windows to avoid detection. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
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One night the militants raided Mukdad's house, taking his instruments and vowing to punish him. He escaped to Baghdad where he still lives.  REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

One night the militants raided Mukdad's house, taking his instruments and vowing to punish him. He escaped to Baghdad where he still lives. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

One night the militants raided Mukdad's house, taking his instruments and vowing to punish him. He escaped to Baghdad where he still lives. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
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In a sign of how nervous Mosul residents remain six months into the military operation to flush out Islamic State, just 20 people, mostly young men, attended the concert.      REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

In a sign of how nervous Mosul residents remain six months into the military operation to flush out Islamic State, just 20 people, mostly young men, attended the concert. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

In a sign of how nervous Mosul residents remain six months into the military operation to flush out Islamic State, just 20 people, mostly young men, attended the concert. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
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