United States Consul General Rob Waller announced on Thursday a half-a-million-dollar grant for the renovation and preservation of the Badinan Gate, an archeological site in Amedi, Duhok province.
“I am here to announce $500,000 to renovate and preserve this archeological treasure. This is part of a series of funds that the US government is providing to preserve and protect the rich archeological and cultural heritage of the region,” Waller said in a video message from Amedi, shared by the consulate on Thursday.
He added that they have previously provided funds to protect other archaeological sites in the Kurdistan Region and Mosul. Work on the Badinan Gate will be carried out by Columbia University.
“We are proud to be partnering with Columbia University which is working closely with one of the most knowledgeable archeologists in the region, Dr. Hassan,” said Waller.
Dr. Hassan Qasim is the former head of Duhok’s heritage directorate.
The funding was the result of “two years of constant efforts,” Amedi mayor’s office said in a statement on Thursday, asking for the US to consider providing grants for other historical sites in the area.
The gate was built during the Kurdish Badinan Emirate (1376-1843) when Muslims, Christians, and Jews lived side-by-side in the mountains of what is now northern Duhok province. This gate was the only entrance to Amedi at the time.
Previously, Amedi had been part of the Assyrian Empire.
The site will be open to visitors after the renovation, because “we want tourists to visit it and know about the history of Amedi,” Mayor Ismail Mustafa told Shkoi Kurdistan English.
“The US government is determined to help the IKR [Iraqi Kurdistan Region] preserve and restore its remarkable cultural heritage, and is thrilled to work with our Kurdish friends to achieve that goal,” the American consulate said in a statement on Friday.
“We hope this grant will be a new bridge to further strengthen the ties between the American people and the people of the IKR. Badinan Gate will be preserved for all of humanity, while helping to economically revitalize the community.”