politics

iraq votes 2014: kurdish couldn’t care less about general elections

While the rest of Iraq prepares for the general elections at the end of April, the semi-autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan seems far more focused on provincial elections. The reasons? Apart from shifts in power and influence internally, Iraqi Kurdish politicians in Baghdad may well be feeling as despondent as so many ordinary Iraqis. They fear Baghdad will never change and that they can have no real impact. by Hayman Hassan in Sulaymaniyah more
society

iraq votes 2014: fortune tellers and political spells - some candidates will win election by magic

As the date for Iraq’s general elections nears, Karbala’s magic men and fortune tellers report they’re doing a roaring trade. Candidates are coming to them for predictions, special political rituals and magic talismans they can wear to woo voters and at election rallies. by Ibrahim al-Jibouri in Karbala more
security

trench warfare: syrians and iraqis protest the kurdish ‘berlin wall’

To better protect their borders, authorities in Iraqi Kurdistan are digging a large trench in the area bordering Syria. Locals are protesting about it, saying that links with family and friends in neighbouring towns will be severed and economic opportunities lost; some are already describing it as a Kurdish \'Berlin Wall\'. by Abdul-Khaleq Dosky in Dohuk more
politics

iraq votes 2014: special ballot for iraqi army causes concern

Two days before the rest of the country does, over one million members of Iraq’s military will vote in general elections. The questions are clear: Will the army simply be loyal to the current government? Or is there more ill will toward the Prime Minister now? And how will security problems in Anbar affect military voting? by Mustafa Habib in Baghdad more
politics

iraq votes 2014: special needs iraqis campaigning for office – and for so much more

Iraq’s upcoming general elections are proving a worthy platform for sectors of local society that are not often heard from. Iraqis with special needs are running for office to get more help from the government and increase their visibility. Considering there’s an estimated 3 million disabled people in Iraq, their chances are good. by Mustafa Sadoun in Baghdad more
politics

iraq votes 2014: campaign curfews in kirkuk due to rising ethnic tensions

Election campaigning in the multi-ethnic province of Kirkuk is causing tension in the disputed territory. Campaigners have come to blows, local police have put a curfew on electioneering and analysts warn of more bloodshed to come. After all, they say, in Kirkuk this isn’t just about getting elected. It’s about who really owns this troubled province. by Shalaw Mohammed in Kirkuk more
politics

iraq votes 2104: ‘standing on the titanic’ – candidates’ posters become butt of jokes

Election campaign posters are telling cynical Iraqi voters nothing – there is barely any information on political aims or manifestos. So ordinary Iraqis are getting their own back with ridicule, sarcasm and some judicious photo shopping. by Kholoud Ramzi in Baghdad more
politics

iraq votes 2014: election posters reveal hidden messages, new alliances, surprising strategies

Campaigning for Iraq’s elections started last week. Almost immediately the nation’s streets were covered in campaign posters. Now locals say reading between the posters’ lines it’s possible to discern hidden messages about new alliances, trends in candidature and the shifting political landscape as well as answer questions like: Why is everybody campaigning in Baghdad? And why are religious parties touting good looking, unveiled women as candidates? by Mustafa Habib in Baghdad more
society

interview gertrude bell documentary: ‘she would be unhappy with iraq today’

Victorian-era explorer Gertrude Bell contributed much to the making of what is now modern Iraq. And now Western popular culture has discovered her. A major Hollywood movie is in the making as well as an in-depth documentary. NIQASH spoke to the directors of the documentary, Letters from Baghdad, to ask them whether Bell - and colonial history - is at least partially responsible for the state modern Iraqi is in. by Special Correspondent in Berlin more
security

don’t you know who I am: dhi qar security measures lock locals out of hometown

In a first for southern Iraqi provinces, Dhi Qar has introduced security measures that say anyone who wants to come in needs to be guaranteed by a resident. A similar scheme is used by Iraqi Kurdistan, arguably the safest area in Iraq. But in Dhi Qar it’s already causing plenty of problems and one politician says it will make locals prisoners inside their own cities. by Ahmad al-Rubaie in Dhi Qar more
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