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Raqqa after Isis: Meet the 30-year-old woman rebuilding the former capital of the ‘caliphate’

In the first part of a new series from Syria, Richard Hall meets Leila Mustafa, who watched the city she grew up in taken over by Isis and destroyed. Now, the 30-year-old civil engineer is back to rebuild

Friday 09 November 2018 14:00 GMT
The co-leader of Raqqa Civil Council, Leila Mustafa
The co-leader of Raqqa Civil Council, Leila Mustafa (Reuters)

Every day on the way to her office, Leila Mustafa passes through the ruins of the city where grew up. Her journey takes her through streets that are little more than twisted metal and flattened concrete. Every day, she is reminded of the enormity of her task.

The battle for Raqqa, the former capital of the Isis “caliphate”, unleashed one of the most devastating air campaigns in recent history, reducing much of it to rubble.

Mustafa, a 30-year-old civil engineer, has been charged with putting it back together again

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