Iraq

Christmas in Iraq

Christmas in Iraq

A soldier stands atop the Church of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, in east Baghdad, as congregants attend Christmas mass. The church was struck by a suicide car bomb on July 12, 2009, that left four people dead and 21 wounded. (Click on the photo for a larger version)


Mheibes – a multimedia essay on Ramadan in Iraq

Mheibes - a multimedia essay on Ramadan in Iraq

On August 10, I went with a couple of colleagues to check out Iraqi men play a game of Mheibes during Ramadan in Adhamiyah. Adhamiyah was playing Saba Abkar, an adjacent neighbourhood. TANGENT: A version of the video of the bottom filmed entirely on the iPhone 4 has been shortlisted for the Grand Prize at [...]


AFP’s coverage of the US withdrawal from Iraq

Agence France-Presse has put out several stories in recent days about the US withdrawal from Iraq, and now that it is complete, I wanted to put together a one-stop-shop of all the articles AFP has published. Without further ado, a summary of AFP‘s coverage of the US withdrawal from Iraq: December 18, 2011 US forces [...]


More Copyright Infringement in Baghdad

More Copyright Infringement in Baghdad

For those of you who recall “Pizza Hat” in west Baghdad, here’s another incident of blatant, and bizarre, copyright infringement. This one is from Karrada, central Baghdad.  


Iraq struggles a decade after 9/11

Note: This article was originally published by AFP on August 30, 2011. You can find it in full here. by Prashant Rao A decade after 9/11 attacks that set the stage for the 2003 invasion, Iraq is struggling to rebuild as dysfunctional politics, a persistent insurgency and rampant graft blunt the promise of its oil [...]


Baghdad Diary: Basketball at the Border

Prashant’s Note: This blog post was published by AFP on December 17, 2009. It can be found in full here. by Prashant Rao One of my favourite books is ‘Big Game, Small World’. In it, the author, a columnist for Sports Illustrated, travelled the world just playing basketball, meeting people and interacting with them by [...]


The US withdrawal from Iraq by the Numbers

The US Pullout from Iraq by the Numbers – RTE World Report Based on the terms of a 2008 security agreement signed by the United States and Iraq, all American forces must withdraw from the country by the end of this year. Though Iraqi politicians have said they will open negotiations with Washington on keeping [...]


Where Iraq stood in August 2010

Where Iraq Stood in August 2010 – RTE World Report August 2010 was a busy month in Iraq. Along with US forces gearing up to declare an official end to combat operations, and get troop numbers below 50,000 (from a peak of around 170,000 during “the surge”), a suicide bomber blew himself up amid a [...]


Mheibes – A traditional Iraqi game during Ramadan

Mheibes is a traditional game playing during the evening in Iraq throughout Ramadan. This short video, filmed in Baghdad, features a match between Adhamiyah in north Baghdad and nearby Saba Abkar. This is my first attempt at some form of video journalism — I used only my Canon EOS 550D and iPhone 4. Please let [...]


US takes on Iraq pullout ‘one bite at a time’

US takes on Iraq pullout 'one bite at a time'

Prashant’s Note: This article was originally published by AFP on July 25, 2011. It can be found in full here. by Prashant Rao CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq (AFP) — From flyers warning troops the post office will shut soon to disused housing units waiting to be dispatched to their new destination, the signs are [...]


Baghdad Diary: Tech frustrations in Iraq

Prashant’s Note: This blog post was originally published by AFP on November 26, 2009. It can be found in full here. by Prashant Rao I love technology — I regularly read tech-related blogs, usually buy New Scientist, What Hi-Fi or similar magazines when I travel, and have spent more than I’d care to admit on [...]


Upstart Iraqi bloc seeks ‘peaceful uprising’ in Kurdistan

Prashant’s Note: This article was originally published by AFP on March 6, 2010. It can be found in full here. by Prashant Rao SULAIMANIYAH, Iraq — In March 1991, Kurdish rebels rose up against Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in what is known in the region simply as “the uprising”. Almost 19 years later to the [...]


US deaths in Iraq a bid to torpedo troop stay: experts

Prashant’s note: This article was originally published by AFP on June 7, 2011. It can be found in full here. by Prashant Rao BAGHDAD (AFP) – An attack that killed five American soldiers Monday was the deadliest in an increasing spate of bids by insurgent groups to ensure Iraq and the US do not agree [...]


Iraq violence (January 2007 to May 2011)

Iraq violence (January 2007 to May 2011)

On the first day of every month, the Iraqi ministries of health, interior and defence release a toll of how many Iraqis were killed and wounded in violence in the previous month, and the figures for last month were the lowest this year, though not the lowest since the 2003 invasion. Here is a chart [...]


Baghdad Diary: Hope and Heartache

Prashant’s note: This blog post was originally published by AFP on July 14, 2009. It can be found in full here. by Prashant Rao Since I arrived in Baghdad, by far the most frequent question I am asked by friends and family back home has to do with what the country is like, and I’m increasingly [...]


Facebook on the Frontline (Part II)

Prashant’s note: The following article was originally published in the latest issue of Correspondent, the bi-monthly magazine of the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club. It is reproduced here in full with the permission of the magazine. by Prashant Rao How is social media changing the role of today’s correspondent? All I know is that for [...]


Baghdad match a triumph for security

Baghdad match a triumph for security

by Prashant Rao NOTE: This article was originally published by AFP on July 15, 2009. It can be found here. BAGHDAD (AFP) — Standing alongside the pitch at Baghdad’s Al-Shaab stadium as more than 50,000 rabid fans cheered on their national side, Mohammed Raed spelt out his own measure of the city’s improved security. “The [...]


Disappearing Tradition: Najaf abaya makers in decline

Disappearing Tradition: Najaf abaya makers in decline

by Prashant Rao Note: This article was originally published by AFP on March 9, 2011. It can be found here. NAJAF, Iraq (AFP) – Known across the region for its fine texture, the Najafi abaya is worn by all manner of VIPs from officials to oil-rich sheikhs. But the men who produce the hand-made cloth, [...]


Iraq military lacks resources for Iran frontier

Iraq military lacks resources for Iran frontier

by Prashant Rao This article was originally published by AFP on December 23, 2009. It can be found here. AL SHIB PORT, Iraq (AFP) — Iraq’s border forces lack the resources to properly police the country’s long frontier with Iran and keep out insurgents and smugglers, US soldiers engaged in training them say. The soldiers [...]


Baghdad Diary: Dealing with the damage of Abu Ghraib

by Prashant Rao Note: This blog post was originally published by AFP on June 27, 2009. It can be found here. Perhaps no single revelation in the aftermath of the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq was more notorious than that of prisoner abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison west of Baghdad. It led to courts martial for [...]


Baghdad Diary: New Beginnings

by Prashant Rao Note: This blog post was published by AFP on June 12, 2009. It can be found here. In the past couple weeks here in Baghdad, I’ve met several journalists from rival foreign news organisations, be it at press or social events, and one of the first questions asked is how long, respectively,  [...]


Baghdad Diary: “Get used to it – This Is Iraq”

by Prashant Rao Note: This blog post was originally published by AFP on June 3, 2009. It can be found here. Most people, everywhere, tend to think their country is exceptional, in one way or another. Iraq, my new home for a year, is probably one where they are right more often than not. I’ve [...]


Life on the margin: Iraqis grapple with poverty

Life on the margin: Iraqis grapple with poverty

by Prashant Rao Note: This article was originally published by AFP on February 22, 2011. It can be found here. BAGHDAD (AFP) – Faleha Hassan lives in a tiny house in central Baghdad with 11 other family members and, like thousands of protesters across Iraq, does not believe her leaders have done anything to make her [...]


Najaf rushes to get ready as Islamic culture capital

Najaf rushes to get ready as Islamic culture capital

by Prashant Rao Note: This article was originally published by AFP on March 15, 2011. It can be found here. NAJAF, Iraq (AFP) – A half-billion-dollar effort to showcase Iraq’s holiest Shiite city to the world is coming down to the wire as many contracts remain unsigned and funds are being hastily re-allocated. Preparations for [...]