17 November 2018
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BAGHDAD - In a dusty Baghdad dance studio, conductor Mohammed Amin Ezzat tries to fire up the musicians of Iraq's National Symphony Orchestra, whose enthusiasm has been dampened by eight months without pay. An ageing air conditioner fights to beat back the summer heat in the cramped space at the capital's School of Music and Ballet as the 57-year-old maestro leads the group through a rehearsal of Modest Mussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain". The shaggy-haired Ezzat and the 40 musicians…
Protests broke out again in Baghdad as on Friday as well as central and southern Iraqi provinces where demonstrated decried lack of public services and job opportunities besides demanding that a new government is appointed quickly. Protestors in provinces such as Basra, Dhi Qar, Najaf, al-Diwaniyah, Karbala, Babil, and the capital Baghdad, turned Friday into a day of demonstrations in front of government buildings and in public squares. They raised slogans related to lack of public services and called for…
LONDON - Mass protests over unemployment and poor services in Iraq have redirected attention to corruption, which many say is the root of the country’s problems, prompting the government to step up its reform campaign. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi sacked five officials in the electoral commission over charges of corruption during the country’s parliamentary election last May. “The decision to sack the officials was approved by the prime minister after they committed violations, manipulation and financial corruption,” said Judge Laith Jabr…
The clamour of protests in Iraq has reached the ears of the top Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. Realising the gravity of the situation, Sistani scrambled to save his own popularity and, by extension, authority, which has been jeopardised by the people whose election he blessed not long ago. It became urgent to react because even his most devout followers demonstrated a few years ago in southern Iraq shouting shocking slogans of the type “We have been robbed in…
Iraqi politicians have shown support for widespread protests against corruption and poor public services as demonstrators clashed again with security forces in Basra on Tuesday. The country – without a new government since the May 12 elections – has been rocked by deadly rallies that erupted three weeks ago. On Tuesday thousands again demanded action over a lack of basic services and jobs. "Iraqi security forces began to disperse demonstrators in front of Basra's provincial council by using force against…
Baghdad, Iraq - For Hend Ali, there was no other option but to stay put. The 36-year-old mother of six has been living for three years now at al-Khadra, a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) tucked behind blocks of dilapidated apartment buildings in Iraq's capital, Baghdad. Like many others across the country, Hend was forced to flee her home in 2015 as military operations and ISIL attacks escalated after the armed group's fighters swept through Iraq, occupying one-third of its territory. Following Baghdad's victory over ISIL last…
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi officials should hear the worries of citizens facing chronic electricity shortages while temperatures exceed 50 degrees Celsius in the summer, The Caesar of Arabic Song, Kathem al-Saher, expressed during a live performance in Lebanon on Saturday. It is very rare for Saher, also dubbed “Iraq’s ambassador to the world,” to address the country’s political issues. However, the weeks-long protests in Iraq’s southern and central provinces caught his attention and to show his solidarity with the…
Thousands of people took to the streets of Baghdad and cities across southern Iraq on Friday in the latest protests against corruption, social ills and political leadership. Surrounded by a cordon of anti-riot personnel equipped with electric batons, protestors in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square accused leaders of being “thieves” and “corrupt”, AFP journalists said. Several hundred people shouted “No to corruption!” and “Iran out!”. Fourteen people have been killed in nearly three weeks of unrest as demonstrators have railed against power…
Baghdad: For more than three years after graduation, Karar Ala’a Abdul-Wahid tried to get a stable job in the Iraqi government and in the private sector — to no avail. He once was offered a job with the oil ministry in his energy-rich hometown of Basra, but it came with a hefty price: He would have to pay a bribe of $5,000, which he couldn’t afford.  “Every place has a copy of my resume attached with a request for job,”…

Iraq protests leave 14 dead in two weeks Wednesday, 25 July 2018 15:53

At least 14 people have been killed in Iraq in two weeks of protests over corruption and lack of public services, a member of the state human rights commission said Monday. Demonstrations have rocked southern and central Iraq since erupting in the oil-rich port city of Basra on July 8, when security forces opened fire killing one person. They have since waned after security forces repeatedly used force to disperse demonstrators, although AFP reporters cited protests in the south on…

Iraq's protests: What you need to know Monday, 23 July 2018 05:14

rotests against corruption, poor services and unemployment are challenging the Shiite political class that since 2003 has pilfered the country's resources. Demonstrations in Iraq are not new, but these are different. July has witnessed soaring temperatures in southern Iraq that have boiled over into popular mass mobilization against corruption, wretched services and unemployment. Mass protests that started in Basra two weeks ago have since spread to nine predominately Shiite southern provinces and the capital, Baghdad. Provincial governorate buildings have been sieged,…

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