Online Security In The Middle East: Iraq’s Activists Bypass Govt. Blocks

After the Iraqi government blocked access to some websites on the Internet recently, Iraq’s online activists are fighting back. One Canadian company making a portal to bypass blockages securely says that their Iraqi users have increased so dramatically over the past few months that they’re having trouble keeping up. by Haider Najm in Baghdad more

Baghdadis’ Illogical Celebrations: Day Of Peace In A City At War

Many in Baghdad feel like they are currently living on a war footing. But, somewhat strangely, that did not stop hundreds in the city from celebrating the UN’s International Day of Peace on Sept. 21. It’s all about hope, they say. by Mustafa Habib in Baghdad more

Dire Straits: Baghdad’s Financial Blockade Of Iraqi Kurdistan Has Desired Effect

Since the beginning of the year the authorities in Baghdad and Iraqi Kurdistan have had a financial stand off. The Iraqi Kurdish have done everything they can to support themselves, from exporting oil to asking for international loans. But now the situation is getting dire: more bankruptcies, less trade, stalled projects and despairing businessmen committing suicide. by Hayman Hassan in Sulaymaniyah more

To Be Independent Or Not: Iraqi’s Northern Province After The Islamic State?

As local forces appear to be preparing to take on Sunni Muslim extremists in charge of their hometowns, discussion has already started about what happens next. In the northern province of Ninawa, the governor is putting his faith in a new military force while others argue about how independent Ninawa can ever be from Baghdad. by Nawzat Shamdeen in Berlin more

Why Iraq’s New National Guard Has Nothing Left To Lose

Local opposition to Sunni Muslim extremists in control of parts of Iraq is building – and it’s being formalised with the creation of a new National Guard, with military units enlisting locals to protect their own provinces. As well as fighting the extremists, the new units could include illegal militias and bring armed resistance under Baghdad’s control. Or it could hasten the disintegration of the country along sectarian lines. by Mustafa Habib in Baghdad more

The Orient Express

The Orient Express in the 1950s, which used to travel through the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, onto Syria and then to Turkey. These days that would be impossible due to borders, wars and extremists.

by Special Correspondent in Baghdad more

Karbala's Classrooms: Refugee Teachers Get Lucky But Refugee Students Problematic

Iraq's southern city of Karbala has proven to be refuge for many Iraqis fleeing violence in the north. While many of the teachers among the refugee population have been lucky enough to be able to claim their jobs back, either at new schools for refugees or established ones, the children of refugee families won't find things quite as easy. by Abbas Sarhan in Karbala more

Arab-Speaking Refugee Children In Iraqi Kurdistan Locked Out Of Schools

The huge number of displaced Iraqis seeking shelter in the northern region of Iraqi Kurdistan may see thousands of children missing school this year. Firstly because there's no curriculum for Arabic-speakers in the Kurdish-language area. And secondly because displaced families are using local schools as housing. by Hayman Abdullah in Erbil more

The Saddest Story In Mosul: Love In The Time Of The Caliphate

A young Mosul man tells NIQASH how his social life, and the lives of others his age, has been cruelly interrupted by the fact that Sunni Muslim extremists now control their city. The young man says he was set to marry his sweetheart upon graduation – however now that all women must be fully veiled and universities are closed, he can neither meet her, nor finish his studies. by Nawzat Shamdeen in Berlin more

New Awakening? Locals in Kirkuk Slowly But Surely Turn Against Extremists

Sunni Muslim extremists continue to kidnap, execute and otherwise impose their authoritarian rule on locals in the areas they control, such as in southwestern Kirkuk. Slowly but surely though, local resistance against them is growing. Tribal leaders suggest an organized, salaried force is in development. by Ahmad Mohammed in Kirkuk more
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