'A city of lives interrupted'

Published October 20th, 2015 - 05:15 GMT
Iraqi dancers in folkloric dress perform at a festival in Baghdad celebrating International Women's Day.  (AFP/Ahmad al-Rubaye)
Iraqi dancers in folkloric dress perform at a festival in Baghdad celebrating International Women's Day. (AFP/Ahmad al-Rubaye)

The book to read: Night Draws Near  

I finally read his book Night Draws Near: Iraq’s people in the Shadow of America’s War. The book was published almost ten years ago, and it might seem I am really late for reading this. The sad truth is that Iraq today is not much different from the one Shadid describes in the book – in it, the night draws near fast and everything is ghamidha, ambigious.

Shadid writes: “Baghdad is a city of lives interrupted, its history a story of loss, waiting, and resilience. In the days before the American invasion in March 2003, the capital scarred by war after war felt torn, aggrieved, and filled with longing for the greatness it once possessed and has never forgotten.”

Continue reading on Middle East Revised


Great weather for bombing  

We have an old joke in Russia saying that the most unpredictable thing about the country is its past. History can and has been rewritten in a blink of an eye. This has never been truer than with Moscow’s bombing campaign in Syria.

A civil war in Syria has been going for four years and Moscow has steadfastly supported beleaguered President Bashar al-Assad. But until a few weeks ago, Syria hadn't been the top item on the news and few Russians knew much about Moscow's Soviet-era ally in the Middle East.

And now?

Continue reading on AFP Correspondent


Female hitchhiker in Iran: 'It's safe, fun, and friendly'  

Iris Veldwijk is from Utrecht, the fourth largest city in the Netherlands, but she can rarely be found there. She is more likely to be seen at the side of a road or highway, holding out her thumb and hoping for a ride to her next destination.

Veldwijk, 24, first hitchhiked while studying in Denmark. Her roommate was a regular hitchhiker so she first traveled with her and then decided to try it on her own. She began hitchhiking around the world three years ago and has visited 59 countries so far. She used her savings when she first started, but recently began working while she travels, often in hostels or for other businesses that cater to travelers. She has been traveling non-stop for more than 20 months, and writes about her experiences on her blog mindofahitchhiker.

Continue reading on IranWire

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