1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

"Don’t Come Back!” - Returning to the Ruins of Mosul

June 13, 2024

The film follows journalists founding the first independent radio station in Iraq. It’s hoped that the broadcasts will contribute to the reconstruction of their homeland following the victory of the anti-IS coalition.

"Don’t Come Back!” - Returning to the Ruins of Mosul
The battles against the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq had led not only to human suffering but also to severe damage to the infrastructure.Image: Java

 In a region that’s been affected by war and division since 1980.

"Don’t Come Back!” - Returning to the Ruins of Mosul
Ghadeer left behind a promising career in Europe to rebuild something in Mosul.Image: Java

July 2017: Mosul is liberated and in ruins. Ghadeer, a young journalist who fled to Brussels after Mosul was captured by the IS terror militia, leaves behind a promising future in Europe. He returns to his home city to found "Radio One,” along with a group of friends. Their station is free of religious, ideological and political influence. Its aim is to contribute to dialog and peaceful coexistence in a divided nation. 

"Don’t Come Back!” - Returning to the Ruins of Mosul
Ghadeer founded "Radio One" with friends.Image: Java

The first two years are a Utopian era for the volunteer radio station founders. Through its reporting on the country’s problems, "Radio One” garners a nationwide audience. But without external funding and advertising revenue, the channel gets into financial difficulties. At the same time, the journalists find themselves targeted by militias steered by political clans. These are fighting for control of Iraq, and brutally crack down on any resistance they meet.

"Don’t Come Back!” - Returning to the Ruins of Mosul
As an independent medium, "Radio One" met with great interest.Image: Java

Iraq was not rebuilt after the second Gulf War, paving the way for rampant corruption, power struggles and influence from abroad, particularly from Iran. People here are struggling to make ends meet, and the nation is on the brink of civil war. Ultimately, the recession seals the end of "Radio One”. Ghadeer sees no other option but to sell the channel to an anonymous investor.

The film also documents the disillusionment of the Iraqi population. Twenty years after the US army’s invasion, with its promise of democracy, people can only look on as their country threatens to backslide into chaos yet again.

Broadcasting Hours: 

DW English

TUE 25.06.2024 – 01:15 UTC
TUE 25.06.2024 – 04:15 UTC
TUE 25.06.2024 – 18:15 UTC
WED 26.06.2024 – 09:15 UTC
WED 26.06.2024 – 15:15 UTC
WED 26.06.2024 – 21:15 UTC
THU 27.06.2024 – 12:15 UTC
SAT 29.06.2024 – 08:15 UTC
SUN 30.06.2024 – 13:15 UTC

Lagos UTC +1 | Cape Town UTC +2 | Nairobi UTC +3
Delhi UTC +5,5 I Bangkok UTC +7 | Hong Kong UTC +8
London UTC +1 | Berlin UTC +2 | Moscow UTC +3
San Francisco UTC -7 | Edmonton UTC -6 | New York UTC -4