→Iraq 2013: a year of carnage
The year 2013 has been the deadliest in Iraq since 2008, with deep inter-ethnic fissures almost tearing the country apart. Bombings and militant attacks, often killing dozens, have become a daily routine to the extent that they receive little coverage from international media. RTâs Special Report brings the grim reality of Iraq into the spotlight.
→Attacks Across Iraq Kill Dozens
At least 27 people were killed on Wednesday in a series of bomb blasts and gunfire attacks that stretched to the northern cities of Tikrit and Mosul and to the regions west of Baghdad and Falluja.
Attacks never end. Ya Allah, please keep them safe.
"Every day is Ashura, Every land is Karbala."
are there any great photojournalists or photographs that covered Iraq, but aren’t about war?
Changing of the flags on top of the Imam Hussein (as) shrine in Kerbala, Iraq along with changing the flag of his brother Abbas Ibn Ali (as). The flags change from red, signifying the never ending revolution of good against evil, to black, signifying the color of mourning and the start of the first night of Muharram.
Labayk ya jeddi, wa sayedi, wa malway ya aba abdallah.
السلام عليك يا أبا عبدالله وعلى الأرواح التي حلّت بفنائك
عليك مني سلام الله أبداً مابقيت وبقي الليل والنهار
ولاجعله الله آخر العهد مني لزيارتكم
السلام على الحسين وعلى علي بن الحسين وعلى أولاد الحسين
وعلى أصحاب الحسين وعلى أخيه أبا الفضل العباس عليهم السلام
If I had one criticism about the current state of Iraqi society, it’s that we seem to be frozen in time. There’s a huge wave of conservatism, which is understandable considering life under the past regime, but I feel it’s leading to a society that’s stuck at a standstill. We are at once stuck in the past while simultaneously awaiting judgement day. There isn’t a sweeping cultural focus on development, modernization, and the future. I understand that there are a lot of hurdles in the way, violence and lack of security and basic needs being the top of the list, but without a change in the mentality of the general public there won’t be large institutional changes. We are still electing individuals and parties based on sectarian identifications and tribal affiliations rather than choosing those who actually seek to implement genuine change or are at the very least qualified and educated in law or public policy. Many of the politicians today are only good at stirring the people’s fears and emotions using their street cred or reputation rather than actual reputable credentials that can speak to their leadership or political skills. My hope was in the younger generation until I began hearing regurgitations of their parents outdated views. It doesn’t take a genius or an expert to realize that the current paradigm isn’t working, and the way everything is being done today is part of the overall problem rather than creating new solutions.
→Mohamed Al-Daradji on telling a terrible truth about Saddam’s Iraq | The National
Returning to the Abu Dhabi Film Festival for the third time in five years, and once again with another world premiere in tow, Mohamed Al-Daradji has become the film festival’s golden boy.
The film, says Al-Daradji, is meant to show the suffering in Iraq’s recent history – and also to show that the Arab Spring actually began many years earlier than 2011, first in Algeria in 1988 and then in Iraq in 1991. “But the international community abused this, by supporting the uprising just as the Gulf War was about to end and then making a deal with Saddam and leaving the people without support. If this uprising had been a success, we would have a very different Middle East than the one we see today.”
Filming in Iraq is still “not easy”, claims Al-Daradji, but the experience making In the Sands of Babylon was nothing compared to shooting his first films in 2003 and 2004. “Then I didn’t have any security with me at all, but this time I can ask the authorities to provide security.”
Before he filmed Son of Babylon, Al-Daradji’s mother asked him why he was making fictional films. “She said our life is fiction. That’s how we live in Iraq. So I fixed on making this idea based on what my mother told me.” The Abu Dhabi Film Festival, and regional filmmaking, is better off for his mother’s words.