Melek & Kreesh: Best Friends Who Couldn’t Be Separated By War

Nine-year-old Melek Tariq Nooreldeen is too shy to talk, too wrapped up in playing with Kreesh, a ginger cat that she has raised since it was abandoned by its mother. Her sister explains that Melek and Kreesh are inseparable, even sharing a bed.So when Kreesh went missing on Tuesday morning, Melek was inconsolable.Melek and her family …

Iraqis Respond To Trump’s Election – From The Streets To The Presidency

Politicians and the people of Iraq have responded to Donald Trump’s unlikely ascension to President of the United States  – with the same mixture of surprise, shock, delight and diplomatically measured congratulations, seen around the world in the last 24 hours. The 45th Commander in Chief has said little of substance about Iraq since he …

Sulaymaniyah Hosts Inaugural Bird Festival

Organisers of the first bird festival in Sulaymaniyah hope that the event will promote a greater interest in owning and caring for feathered friends. Over 70 bird keepers travelled from across the Kurdistan Region to exhibit around 500 birds, with people from Erbil, Duhok, Kirkuk and Halabja joining fellow enthusiasts in Sulaymaniyah. Prizes were awarded, …

Ahmed Urgently Needs Healthcare – All He Wants Is Clothes

Ahmed is lying down, head propped up on his left hand. The former classroom on the first floor of what is now a makeshift IDP centre in Haj Ali, is crowded. He is with his mother and sister, and others in the room are preparing an Eid meal with meat provided by a local sheikh. …

Ganous – Where A Single Cigarette Costs $2

Among photos of Iraqis celebrating freedom, as towns are retaken from ISIL, it’s common to see people smoking. From young boys on the banks of the Tigris in Qayyarah, to elderly women puffing in the shade in Debaga IDP camp, cigarettes are a symbol of liberty, forbidden by ISIL. As Yalla shared Eid with residents …

What It Means To Be Yazidi In 2016

We lived safely in our homes, did our jobs and kept ourselves to ourselves until the shocking morning when ISIL militants launched an attack on us that displaced thousands of families as they illustrated their contempt for humanity. They assaulted children and the elderly, they raped women, took them away to be sold in markets. …

Swimming Pools: Iraqis’ Summer Refuge

Salam Zidane – Yalla – Baghdad   As the mercury passes 50C, Iraqis have been heading to public swimming pools in droves. Cooling down is one thing, but health officials warn that inattention to basic water quality standards can spread infectious skin diseases. Yalla spoke to regulars at swimming pools in the capital Baghdad. “The …

With No Trust In Private Banks, Iraqis Keep Cash At Home

Mohammed Raheem – Yalla – Baghdad   Ali al-Alaq, Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq has spoken about the growing trend for Iraqis to keep their cash at home, outside of the traditional banking system. “There is a dangerous phenomenon, Iktinaz [keeping savings at home in the form of cash], and as we have …