Posts Tagged ‘Iraq’

Iraq PM in power grab by ousting bank chief: experts

by Prashant Rao Note: This article was published by AFP on October 22, 2012. It can be found in full here. BAGHDAD (AFP) – The targeting of Iraq’s well-respected central bank chief appears to be a move by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to consolidate power and sends a bad message to international investors, experts and [...]


Ex-minister slams Iraq PM for tolerating graft

by Prashant Rao Note: This article was originally published by AFP on February 14, 2012. It can be found in full here. LONDON (AFP) — The first minister to quit Iraqi premier Nuri al-Maliki‘s unity government criticized the prime minister for turning a blind eye to worsening corruption among his loyalists, in an interview with [...]


Iraq Violence – Opening Up

One of the most opaque issues that we cover here in Baghdad is violence — officials are reticent to be quoted on the record, journalists are frequently restricted from accessing the sites of attacks, and authorities often clean up areas where bombings or shootings have taken place very quickly after they occur (which is also [...]


A year after murder, Iraq press freedom threatened

by Prashant Rao Note: This article was published by AFP on September 5, 2012. It can be found in full here, and photographs illustrating the story can be found here. BAGHDAD (AFP) – One year after a prominent Iraqi journalist and government critic was killed, no one has been arrested for his murder and activists [...]


Iraq political row threatens future polls

by Prashant Rao Note: This story was originally published by AFP on August 29, 2012. It can be found in full here. BAGHDAD (AFP) – A bitter row between Iraq’s political blocs is threatening the future independence of the country’s election commission and is casting doubt on whether provincial polls due next year will be [...]


Still raw wounds greet US medics in Iraq’s Fallujah

by Prashant Rao Note: This article was published by AFP on August 8, 2012. It can be found in full here. FALLUJAH, Iraq (AFP) – In an Iraqi city where US military offensives levelled entire neighbourhoods in 2004, a hospital has turned to American doctors to treat children with heart problems that residents blame on [...]


Rights groups and activists slam Iraq Internet law

by Prashant Rao Note: This article was published by AFP on July 12, 2012. It can be found in full here. BAGHDAD (AFP) – An Iraqi draft law that would jail web users for life for a variety of ill-defined crimes has been condemned by rights groups and activists who have slammed its vague language [...]


A Katie Couric sighting in Baghdad

A Katie Couric sighting in Baghdad

Among the many bizarre sights you see while driving around Baghdad — remember ‘Pizza Hat’ and ‘Facebook Coffee’? — one of the stranger ones is this banner from the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity that strangely features, of all people, Katie Couric, the well-known US television journalist. The banners are distributed throughout the city and advertise [...]


Iraq film seller laments Bollywood decline

by Prashant Rao Note: This article was published by AFP on June 20, 2012. It can be found in full here. BAGHDAD (AFP) – Adil Hamid Khalaf is like many Iraqi traders, with his tiny store stocked to the brim with VCDs and DVDs. What sets him apart is he can extol, in halting Hindi [...]


Iraq looks to raise profile with OPEC candidate

by Prashant Rao Note: This article was originally published by AFP on June 12, 2012. It can be found in full here. BAGHDAD (AFP) – As Iraq increases oil output and emerges as a key supplier, it is now pushing a candidate for OPEC secretary general, part of efforts to boost its profile and retake [...]


In Iraqi politics, years pass but little changes

by Prashant Rao Note: This article was published by AFP on June 11, 2012. It can be found in full here. BAGHDAD (AFP) – It is mid-June and Baghdad is locked in political intrigue — will Nuri al-Maliki retain the premiership? Or will rival blocs overcome historic animosity and band together against him? No, the [...]


Tough contracts hurt Iraq energy auction: analysts

by Prashant Rao Note: This article was originally published by AFP on June 1, 2012. It can be found in full here. BAGHDAD (AFP) – A landmark Iraqi auction for oil and gas exploration blocks was a disappointment because of poor contract terms on offer and a lack of requisite energy infrastructure, analysts say. The [...]


Baghdad’s protest movement: despondent and divided

by Prashant Rao Note: This article was originally published by AFP on January 31, 2012. It can be found in full here. BAGHDAD (AFP) – Nearly a year after national rallies rocked the government, Iraq’s protest movement is a shadow of its former self, after the authorities cracked down and demonstrators themselves became divided. While [...]


My First AFP Video – Initial Lessons

Readers of this blog will know that I’m trying to learn how to do more photos and videos to become more of a “multimedia” journalist (whatever that is). I did some training at AFP in Hong Kong to learn how to do “webclips”, and put together a little video about an Iraqi Ramadan game. So [...]


Iraq violence to rise if leaders row: experts

by Prashant Rao Prashant’s note: This article was published by AFP on January 17, 2012. It can be found in full here. BAGHDAD (AFP) – While the chances of all-out sectarian war in Iraq appear slim, violence will remain high and at risk of worsening if the country’s leaders do not end their political standoff, experts [...]


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 [...]