In reality, Iraq was created the way all modern states are created: through a messy, protracted confluence of violent conflict, local preferences, external pressures, political skullduggery and cultural mythmaking. In that respect, it is no more fake and no more real than any other nation.
After fighting broke out in Baghdad, New Lines’ Rasha Al Aqeedi joins Faisal Al Yafai to talk about Iraq’s ongoing political crisis and what this latest escalation may mean for the country’s future.
So what’s next for Sadr? He again feels abandoned by allies and encircled by powerful parties and nations. But he has time on his side, he is younger than the other political leaders and his grassroots support gives him political longevity. His disagreements with Iran have gained him some grudging domestic and international support, but he does not intend to be used as a pawn in that geopolitical struggle.
The Basra region has been the bread basket of Iraq. But because of salinization of lands, decrease of water flow into rivers due to upstream damming, climate change and pollution, farmers are increasingly unable to farm. People dependent on fish and buffaloes in the marshlands are in competition for food.
Walls get painted, crumble or are rebuilt. Some of the graffiti disappeared a few months after I photographed them. From this point, I have made a resolution to document Mosul’s walls and what stones may speak on behalf of their inhabitants.
The need for direct support in order for Yazidis and Assyrians to survive has never been greater, yet the prospect has never seemed more remote.
More than four years on, the Islamic State group has been forced from Mosul and no longer occupies towns or cities anywhere in Iraq or Syria. But its brutal legacy remains, under mounds of rubble, in ruined homes and fields.