When Iraqi anti-establishment protesters took to the streets in Oct. 2019, their key demand was reform of Iraq’s post-2003 political system, which is based on ethno sectarian quotas. Known as Muhasasa Ta’ifia in Arabic (ethno-sectarian apportionment), the ruling system has structurally failed to protect Iraqi living standards. Instead, various parties have held a firm grip onto power because of the apportionment system, which distributes power to political parties based on sect and ethnicity. Under these conditions, problematic patronage networks and corruption have become rampant.
Prime Minister al-Kadhimi, faced with many obstacles in rebuilding Iraq’s nuclear energy programme, gets a boost from the French.
While some Iraqis celebrated the death of Soleimani, others – especially supporters of the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) – were enraged.
While it is difficult to prove who’s behind the kidnappings and torture, several media sources suggested that Iran-backed Shia militias and political groups in Basra were responsible for the sporadic attacks.
Ground-breaking disclosures of secret intelligence reports within the Iranian government revealed how Iran controls much of the Iraqi government since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
A statement by an Iraqi aid worker named Yousef said an average of 1-2 Yazidi women committed suicide each day in 2015.
The essays in this Carnegie Endowment (The Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center) compendium aim to counter the overly securitized and deterministic thinking around climate change by bringing issues of governance and politics into the climate conversation of the Arab world.
Drawing on Carnegie Endowment’s field-based expertise across the region, the collection focuses on how regimes and local actors can better build climate resilience through socioeconomic and political reforms and not just technical fixes. It spans a broad geographic sampling of cases and a wide variety of contexts.
I was selected to represent Iraq and write an essay about how a number of contributing factors, including climate change, have contributed towards the deterioration of Iraq's Mesopotamian Marshes. In this essay, I also provide policy recommendations for the current Government of Iraq to consider when working towards the preservation of the UNESCO world heritage site.
Historian-blogger’s efforts bear fruits as citizens join project to plant 5,000 trees across the devastated city in Iraq.
As global temperatures climb, Basra is experiencing temperatures hovering at 50 degrees while suffering severe water shortages; delays in a massive desalination project are making an already intolerable situation worse.
An insight on the Eden in Iraq Wastewater Garden Project and the project's aim of providing environmental and cultural regeneration via the use of constructed wetlands in the Mesopotamian Marshes.
Southern Iraq's water shortages are caused by problems both political – with Turkey constructing dams and hydropower plants on the Tigris and Euphrates – and environmental – with the mass accumulation of aquatic plants near canals.
One crucial promise that has been repeatedly broken in Basra and needs to be resolved immediately is ending the water crisis.
Iraq has implemented measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, but confusing messages and political opportunism are hobbling an effective response.
Sustainable solutions to the water crisis in Iraq have proven to be a challenge because of a lack of awareness of how everyday practices harm water quality and the environment in often irreversible ways.
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Baghdad's creative milieu is on its way to being restored. This is in part due to a dedicated team of artists and architects who have helped beautify the city's architecture, of which Wijdan al-Majid is a member.
As we continue to tumble into the age of AI, new innovations pose new questions about our place in the world, our purpose and what have to offer. The New Arab speaks with the founder of Ai-Da, a humanoid robot, about how to navigate these futures.
Arabs in the UK series: As one of her final commissioned works, renowned British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid was entrusted to rebuild the Central Bank of Iraq after the 2010 attack. As the project nears completion, we take stock of her enduring legacy.
British artist and sculptor Piers Secunda has been making drawings using rust ink, paying particular attention to surroundings nearby Osama bin Laden’s compound in the vicinity of Abbottabad, Pakistan.
After the Grenfell fire tragedy, the local community came together in many different ways including through the love of food, where witnesses and survivors could provide support to one another.
Musiqa al-Daraj will show indie performances on the MMAG Foundation staircases of old Amman.
The French rank first for buying properties because of Morocco’s proximity to Europe and historically strong business ties between the French and Moroccans.
The piece that sparked a lot of excitement was a Quran written for Sultan Qaytbay (1468-96), the 18th Mamluk sultan of Egypt.
British artist Piers Secunda hopes the Iraqi education system will encourage the teaching of cultural history.
The Islamic world occupied the seat of learning in a number of disciplines such as science, mathematics, engineering, and religion for a number of centuries. Paper, one of the most frequently used materials in present-day life, was invented in China presumably as early as the 2nd century BCE. According to legend, the art of paper-making was discovered by Abbasid forces following the capture of Chinese prisoners during the Battle of Talas in 751 A.D. Realising the importance of this material, the Islamic world began manufacturing and distributing paper on a large scale. The earliest centres of production were situated in Samarkand and in the region of Khorasan in north-eastern Iran.
On at London's Royal Court Theatre, Mohamed-Zain Dada's debut play 'Blue Mist' explores the lives of three British Pakistanis navigating a system that isn't built for them. The play is a poignant take on how Islamophobia manifests itself in the UK.
The New Arab sat down with Nader Mansour to discuss the journey and aspirations of Beirut Blues-Rock band The Wanton Bishops for the new generation of Lebanon.
The soundtrack to the captivating refugee animation, Lamya's Poem, is set to be released this week. Composed by Emmy-award-winning composer Christopher Willis, The New Arab sat down with him to chat about his inspirations and his creative process.
A faithful adaptation of Christy Lefteri's book by the same name, The Beekeeper of Aleppo play deals with the torturous journey of Syrians to Europe after fleeing the war. The play emphasises the fragility of comfort and a shared desire for safety.
Iraqis under the regime of Saddam Hussein faced a continuously threatened identity of self, with this generational trauma lingering today. Baghdaddy, performed at the Royal Court Theatre in London, unravels this period with humour and tragedy.
A viral selfie between pop singer Dua Lipa and Yazidi activist Nadia Murad placed a renewed emphasis on the role celebrities can play in advocating for the less fortunate. But in the case of the Yazidis, will such exposure really make a difference?
Women are often worse affected by climate realities than men but their participation in climate dialogue should be non-negotiable.
In an exclusive interview with The New Arab, the Head of Programs at the Iraq Health Access Organization Hayder Ali explains the most pressing barriers that Iraq faces in achieving proper sexual health awareness, and what needs to be done.
Displaced women and girls in conflict settings regularly endure unimaginable difficulties, including hardships that affect their reproductive health. This is often a direct result of a loss of protection, limited access to healthcare and education, and an absence of livelihood as well as community assistance. These challenges make displaced women and girls more vulnerable to sexual violence and leave them facing a heightened risk of exploitation. War-torn countries in the region, including Iraq, are no exception to these phenomena.
Speaking to Iraqi Artist and Founder of Iraqi Women Art and War (IWAW) group Rana Ibrahim, this article for the Middle East Monitor news outlet touches on IWAW's efforts to help Iraqi women affected by Iraq's wars process their experiences and communicate their stories through art.
GQ MIDDLE EAST JUNE 2023 IRAQ ISSUE
This is a scanned copy of the June 2023 issue of the GQ Middle East magazine. While the magazine is typically available for purchase in person, I've made this copy accessible for everyone to read. For context, I was commissioned by GQ Middle East to write a special piece about the late British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, her architectural approach, and her enduring legacy. The Iraq issue aligned with the 20th "anniversary" of the US invasion.
To just read the text, please click here.
This policy brief examines the public water infrastructure in Basra Governorate, southern Iraq. Crucial to the delivery of water services to the population, the long-term deterioration of this infrastructure is a result of armed conflict, international sanctions and defective governance. Water infrastructure upgrading was a priority for state-rebuilding after the 2003 invasion but receded under the civil war. Governmental and donor plans for mega infrastructure water projects have stalled in the face of systemic corruption. Compact water treatment units are the dominant treatment technology, supplying 83 percent of treatment capacity across Basra Governorate and 92 percent in Basra city. The efficiency of water treatment plants supplying Basra city is restricted by the high salt content of water from the Shatt al-Arab and irregular flows from the Bada‘a Canal. Supply flows are impacted by upstream dam construction, climatic variability, pollution and illegal water tapping. In the face of high population growth in southern Iraq, there is a pressing policy need to diversify water sources for Basra and improve the efficiencies of treatment technologies and distribution networks.
Co-authored by Azhar Al-Rubaie, Michael Mason, and Zainab Mehdi.
This policy paper offers an overview of post-2003 Iraq and of the Muhasasa Ta’ifa, and explains how this ethno-sectarian quota system has hindered the democratisation process. Using two examples of the overlooked needs of protesters during the Adil Abdul-Mahdi administration in particular, this policy piece then demonstrates that state ineffectiveness, deriving from the Muhasasa, caused the 2019 protests, also known as the ‘October Revolution’.
Dissertation, Department of History, University of Essex, Jan 2017 - Apr 2017
Title: Why did the United States support Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran, 1980-1984?
Description: This dissertation argues that U.S. policy in the region - including its support for Iraq - was determined by Cold War considerations.