Yalla Meets Frankenstein In Baghdad Author Ahmed Saadawi

Ahmed Saadawi arrives for our interview at Quhwa Wakitaab (Coffee & Books Café), apologising for being late, explaining that everyone wants a piece of him before he flies to London. Saadawi’s Frankenstein In Baghdad is shortlisted for the International Man Booker, and the prize giving ceremony is just five days away. Since winning the 2014 …

Bangladeshi Economic Migrants In Kirkuk

“The first time I heard an explosion I cried, I thought that one day I will die, but if I go home, seven people will die.” Mohammed Jaman, young Bangladeshi worker in Kirkuk.   Before the war against ISIL began, huge numbers of Bangladeshis were coming to Iraq for work. Companies from Bangladesh charge anywhere …

Young Iraqis Choosing Comedy Over Action Movies

The art a country both consumes and produces can be a window in the national soul. In recent years Iraqis have exhibited a taste for action movies, a result of decades of conflict. The tide, it seems, may be changing. A new generation of young people in the country prefer comedy and sci-fi over blood …

The Murder Of Karar – Thoughts Of A Gay Man From Baghdad

My name is Amir Ashour, and I’m a gay guy from Iraq. I was born in Zayouna – Baghdad in 1990, I went to school in Baghdad before we moved with my family to Sulaimaniyah were I continued my education. My dad is an Arab Shiite, and my mom is a Kurdish sunny. As you …

Joy of Iraq’s Orphans – A Humanitarian Project From Maysan to Mosul

Baghdad – Yalla It took Haidar Al-Alewi and a group of young men from Amarah (in southeastern Iraq’s Maysan province) 4 hours to travel the 372 kilometers to meet 25 orphans from Sadr City in Baghdad, as part of the humanitarian project he calls Joy of Iraq’s Orphans. Haider wants to expand JOIO to cover …

Iraqi Parliament Again Considers Reducing Legal Marriage Age

Baghdad – Mohammed Al-Hikmat The so-called “Jaffari Law”, dropped by parliament in 2014 after strong opposition from both political powers and human rights organisations, is back in front of Baghdad lawmakers. The bid to amend the Civil Status Law, instituted in 1959, was resurrected by parliament in late May, with the Speaker directing both the …

Curiosity Killed The Cat, But Saved The Human Race

Welat Khalil – Yalla With countless galaxies in the universe and almost as many stars in each galaxy, not even a billion Curiosity Rovers could alleviate our curiosity about the outer space. One day, curiosity for the first time may not kill the cat, but actually bring it to the life on another planet. How …

International Women’s Day Is Losing Its Symbolism

  Welat Khalil – Yalla   Woman. Doesn’t the word remind you of life? Doesn’t it remind you of smiling? Maybe rainbow? Or a drop of water on the leaf of a tree in the morning of a spring day? It reminds most of us of another amazing word; mother. Magnificent. But unfortunately, this beauty …

Just like “driving”… Parenthood should be licensed!

Welat Khalil – Yalla Why does a commercial pilot need a license to fly an airplane? Why don’t we just pick a random person to fly us to Europe? Why does a brain surgeon need a license to operate? Or a lawyer to provide law services to the community? The answers are so clear that …

In Pictures: Families Continue to Flee Mosul to IDP Camps

Mohammed Omer Al-Musawee – Yalla From Khazir Camp As daily battles continue in Mosul, more families are displaced to camps hastily constructed in surrounding areas. Yesterday evening, escorted and protected by Iraqi Security Forces and Peshmerga, more than 400 people arrived at Khazir Camp, 20 km east of Mosul.   The army arranged civilian passenger trucks …