[Produced with AFP bureau chief Sarah Benhaida and published here on September 29, 2020]
Back in October 2019, unprecedented protests demanded the fall of Iraq’s ruling class. One year on, with a new government in place and nearly 600 protesters killed, almost nothing has changed.
[Published here May 24, 2020]
It was supposed to be Basma’s big year: a degree, language certification and maybe a master’s abroad. But local protests and a global pandemic threw the Iraqi student’s plans off-course.
[Published here on May 6, 2020]
Baghdad (AFP) – Mustafa Kadhemi took office as Iraq’s premier early Thursday after breaking months of political deadlock, taking the reins amid a staggering economic crisis, a health pandemic and the spectre of renewed protests.
[Published here March 17, 2020]
Baghdad (AFP) – Adnan Zurfi, Iraq’s second premier-designate this year, is respected for focussing on public services and security but faces resistance from factions wary of his close ties with the United States.
[Published here February 7, 2020]
Baghdad (AFP) – They once stood side by side against tear gas and bullets, protesting together against Iraq’s government. But after cleric Moqtada Sadr’s followers switched sides, young activists feel vulnerable and betrayed.
“We used to distribute food to their protest tents in the first days of the demonstrations — and this is how they treat us?” said Mona, a medic and activist in Baghdad.
[Published here February 3, 2020]
Baghdad (AFP) – Sporting their signature blue caps, the men marched triumphantly through Baghdad’s protest camp. The die-hard followers of firebrand cleric Moqtada Sadr were back in Tahrir Square, and they wanted everyone to know it.
I spoke to Aaron Stein at the Foreign Policy Research Institute about the roots, trajectory and challenges of Iraq’s swelling protest movement. Have a listen here.
[Published here on December 15, 2019]
Baghdad (AFP) – At 16, Maram is as old as the political system she and fellow Iraqi youth are railing against. But the spunky teen has her own way of protesting: inking tattoos.
[Published here December 11, 2019]
Baghdad (AFP) – “Last seen: Friday, 9:18pm.” About an hour after gunmen began attacking a protest encampment in Iraq’s capital at the weekend, Mustafa — who had slept there for weeks — went offline.
In the days since, the 20-year-old demonstrator has not reappeared on messaging application WhatsApp, or in real life.
[Published here with my colleague Sarah Benhaida December 10, 2019]
Iraqi protesters have clashed with police and torched government offices, a premier has resigned and precious blood spilt. As modern institutions collapse, an old force is making a comeback: its tribes.