Blog archive: Iraq

  • 5th September 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A public relations firm which became notorious for assisting dodgy regimes – including several in the Middle East – has finally got its comeuppance. London-based Bell Pottinger has been expelled from the PRCA (the trade body for "respectable" PR firms) for bringing the industry into...
  • 31st August 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Writing about conflicts in the Middle East for the New York Times yesterday, columnist Thomas Friedman talked of "the power that is lost to a society like Syria or Iraq that needs an iron fist to make its many into one, and when that fist is removed, how the society fractures into small shards"....
  • 25th August 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Iraq's education ministry has quietly dropped a chapter about evolution from its biology textbooks. The ministry has so far given no explanation but the change has brought complaints and ridicule from Iraqis on social media. Among the complainers, Dr Mohammed Fawzi, who studied genetic...
  • 6th August 2017
    By
    Mustafa Habib
    Over the past few weeks, there has been a rash of attacks on medical professionals in Baghdad. It has caused protests, debate, bad memories and more than a few doctors to consider leaving the country. The article below is re-posted from the Niqash website. by Mustafa Habib Last...
  • 20th February 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Last Friday Iraqi police jubilantly announced they had arrested an ISIS terror suspect disguised as a woman. In the eyes of the police this was an example of the trickery ISIS employs to in order to carry out its attacks. But the suspect, detained at a checkpoint in Karbala province,...
  • 29th January 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Donald Trump ended his first week as president by signing an executive order that means citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen will not be allowed to enter the United States. Although the travel ban is one of a series of measures aimed – according to Trump – at "...
  • 20th January 2017
    By
    Mustafa Habib
    The volunteer militias formed to fight the Islamic State group are now policing Baghdad’s neighbourhoods. But as they do, they compete with the real police, ignore the real laws and often act more like a mafia. By Mustafa Habib in Baghdad (reposted from niqash.org) In Baghdad, Jafar al-...
  • 13th January 2017
    By
    Mustafa Habib
    The border between Iraq and Syria is 600 km long – and porous. As ISIS is gradually driven back in Iraq, this raises the question of how to prevent militants from returning via Syria. Securing the border is no simple matter and, as Mustafa Habib explains in the article below, it's an area where...
  • 9th July 2016
    By
    Ayman Fares
    Iraq’s law on how local parties are funded and founded has the potential to change the political landscape for better. But various parts of the new act seem to contradict one another. It is less than a year before Iraq holds the next round of significant elections; the provincial elections,...
  • 16th March 2016
    By
    Mustafa Habib
    Fighting for Fallujah against the Islamic State has been going on for months. Why is it taking so long? Politics, popular sentiment and muddy farming roads are all part of the answer. By Mustafa Habib in Baghdad, via Niqash For several months now, soldiers from the Iraqi army’s First...
  • 28th December 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Documents reportedly captured from the Islamic State and circulated by the US government include what appears to be an official fatwa authorising the killing of "apostates" for food or organ transplants. According to a US government translation, IS's Research and Fatwa Committee was asked to...
  • 23rd December 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The royal families of the Gulf have long had a passion for hunting with falcons in wild and sometimes dangerous places. In recent times, the decline or extinction of suitable prey in their home countries coupled, perhaps, with a hankering for excitement, has led them to places that are...

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