society

A Satire: One Man’s Political Journey From Saddam To The Caliphate

An Iraqi writer compiles a satirical history of one local political wanna-be who went from ingesting a wolf’s innards as a commando for Saddam Hussein to an aide and accomplice to US forces to forming an alliance with Sunni Muslim extremists from the Islamic State. by Nawzat Shamdeen in Mosul more
society

Charity Begins At Home: Baghdad Offers Refugees Free Bread, Discount Haircuts

Baghdad locals are proving that charity begins at home, with several small businesses and mosques in the Iraqi capital offering goods and services for free or at a reduced rate to refugees from extremist violence in other parts of the country. by Ibrahim Saleh in Baghdad more
society

Ethnic Exodus From Mosul: So Why Does The Rest Of The World Only Care About Iraq’s Christians?

Many minority groups and ethnicities have faced increasing levels of persecution in Ninawa province, the capital of which has been taken over by the Sunni Muslim extremist group, the Islamic State. But, locals complain, it is only the recent expulsion and persecution of Iraqi Christians that saw the world start paying attention. All sectors of Iraqi society are equally important, they say. by Nawzat Shamdeen in Mosul more
society

Sectarian Tensions Break Up Baghdad Families, Militias Push Minorities Out

Recent events in Iraq have seen a new spike in sectarian tensions. In Baghdad militias that are supposed to be keeping locals secure are forcing members of minority sects out of certain neighbourhoods with death threats – even if they’re members of the same family. by Ahmad Hadi in Baghdad more
politics

Mourning The Magic Man: Ex-President Talabani Returns To Iraq Diminished

After an absence of around 19 months due to ill health, Jalal Talabani – the former President of Iraq and one of Iraqi Kurdistan’s most senior leaders – has finally returned to the semi-autonomous region amid much fanfare. Many were hoping the senior diplomat might be able to help solve some of the intractable problems the country, and Iraqi Kurdistan, is facing. Unfortunately, due to a stroke, Talabani is half the man he used to be. by Zanko Ahmad in Sulaymaniyah more
security

Leave Or Face The Sword: The Story Of The Last Christians in Mosul

Over the past weekend, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to leave their homes in Mosul. The Sunni Muslim extremist group that took the city over gave them little choice and then robbed them of all they had on their way out of town. NIQASH met the family of one woman who may quite possibly have been the last Christian to leave the northern city. by Khales Joumah in Mosul more
politics

Giving Provinces More Power: Could Law 21 Save Iraq?

How can a country like Iraq – with its different sects, religions and ethnicities – be governed appropriately? Some are now suggesting that giving all of Iraq’s provinces the powers they were granted by a law amended mid-2013 could be a way out of the current crisis. Local authorities would govern themselves better than Baghdad and Iraq would remain united. by Mustafa Habib in Baghdad more
society

no net: basra tribes demand locals go offline when using tribal facilities

In Basra, tribal leaders have decided that anyone using tribal meeting facilities may as well leave their laptops and smartphones at home. The meeting rooms used to provide free Internet but the service has been abused, they say. by Saleem al-Wazzan in Basra more
politics

where do iraq’s kurds really stand: with one foot in Baghdad and an eye on independence?

Ever since Sunni Muslim extremists took over the northern city of Mosul and other Iraqi territory, there has been talk of the country falling apart. Iraq’s Kurds are talking about splitting from the country and forming their own independent state. But observers are confused. Why, on one hand, are the Iraqi Kurdish speechifying about leaving Iraq and, on the other, taking oaths of national allegiance and jockeying for parliamentary power? by Hiwa Barznjy in Erbil more
politics

iraqi pm’s talk of majority govt will come to nothing – and it’s his own fault

The Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, has been talking about the need for a majority government because consensus politics makes getting things done impossible. But thanks to his past behaviour – where he has sidelined Parliament, effectively making any opposition powerless - he may have fallen into a trap of his own making. Nobody wants a majority government because nobody wants to be part of the powerless political opposition. by Mustafa Habib in Baghdad more
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