The re-opening of the University of Tikrit in December 2015 was the main reason many civilians decided to return home before there was even a council to handle the city’s daily administration, says Waad Raoof, the university’s president.
“Some 20,000 families came back with the students, and even at a time
that Tikrit did not yet have a working council,” said Raoof.
The university campus was badly damaged in the fight for the city’s liberation from the Islamic State (ISIS) in April 2015.
ISIS briefly occupied the campus and when the Iraqi army recaptured
months later and turned it into a base, the radical group made the place
the target of its daily attacks.
Not much of the ruin is visible now, though some buildings are still
partly destroyed and others show bullet holes and bomb scars. Most have
been reconstructed, repaired, cleaned and painted.