More than four years on, the Islamic State group has been forced from Mosul and no longer occupies towns or cities anywhere in Iraq or Syria. But its brutal legacy remains, under mounds of rubble, in ruined homes and fields.
The maestro is back home in Mosul, along with many of the previously displaced musicians. The campus theater hall is being rebuilt, and the statue of Othman al-Mosuli is back on display by the railway station, waiting for the toots of trains that bring new visitors.
Every generation of American diplomats has a figure who becomes the face of the era in foreign policy, a Dean Acheson, Henry Kissinger, or Richard Holbrooke. The years of pain and sorrow otherwise known as the Forever Wars may have found their own symbol in Brett McGurk.
It took five hours to watch the 101-minute Netflix film on Mosul and process the emotions that resulted from the realistic portrayal of brutal warfare in my hometown.