Iraqi farmers feel the heat of extreme climate events

MOSUL / BOGOTA: Caked in the fine yellow dust kicked up by his tractor-drawn planter, Farman Noori Latif jumps down to survey his work. He has spent the morning sowing wheat seed on his farm near the banks of the Tigris River, just south of Mosul in northern Iraq. It is late in the season to […]

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Iraq’s young voters ponder how to effect meaningful change

BAGHDAD, Iraq / BOGOTA, Colombia: Eighteen years since the US-led invasion of Iraq toppled the Baathist dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, a whole generation has come of age knowing only the system of parliamentary democracy built in its place. But as election day unfolds today, many young Iraqis still feel alienated from the political process and skeptical […]

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A Mosul book cafe raises political awareness in the run-up to Iraq elections

MOSUL, Iraq/BOGOTA, Colombia: Taking a seat at the top table in Mosul’s Book Forum cafe one evening in September, political blogger Saad Amer introduced his two guest speakers, both independent candidates running in Iraq’s Oct. 10 parliamentary elections. This was the fifth such event organized by the Khutwa Club, a debating society that meets regularly at […]

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Soaring drug addiction blights lives in Iraq’s war-shattered Ramadi

RAMADI, IRAQ / BOGOTA, COLOMBIA: Ramadi was liberated by Iraqi security forces in the closing days of 2015 after several months under Daesh control. Since then, the people of this war-shattered provincial capital 110km west of Baghdad have struggled to rebuild their lives in the face of severe economic hardship. After decades of war, occupation and […]

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Iraq’s protest leaders forced into hiding by pro-Iran militia death threats

IRBIL/BOGOTA: Mustafa Makki Karim, 24, fled Baghdad for the relative safety of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region last year following a spate of death threats by pro-Iran groups for his role in the protest movement that erupted against government corruption and incompetence in October 2019. During the unrest that followed, the young activist earned the moniker […]

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Burden of Daesh stigma weighs heavily on kin of Iraq’s defeated militants

NINEVEH/IRBIL/BOGOTA: Since the collapse of Daesh’s so-called caliphate in Iraq and Syria, many Western nations have been reluctant to allow the families of fighters to return for legal, political and security reasons. But the issue is equally complicated in the two war-weary Arab countries that the “caliphate” straddled while it lasted. More than three years […]

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