MOSUL, Iraq | Iraqis amid Mosul’s silent ruins fear the loss of a dialect

MOSUL, Iraq | Iraqis amid Mosul’s silent ruins fear the loss of a dialect

MOSUL, Iraq— January 28, 2019—For centuries, residents of Mosul have spoken a unique form of Arabic enriched by the Iraqi city’s long history as a crossroads of civilization, a singsong dialect that many now fear will die out after years of war and displacement.

Much of Mosul’s Old City, where speakers of the dialect are concentrated, was completely destroyed in the war against the Islamic State group. Thousands of residents were killed in months of heavy fighting, and tens of thousands fled, taking with them the city’s local patois and memories of its more cosmopolitan past.

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