To see more of Ahmad’s photography, follow @ahmadmousa on Instagram.
Documentary photographer and video reporter Ahmad Mousa (@ahmadmousa) has his #EyesOn Iraq. “Many people around the world who don’t know much about Iraq hear the name and they think of it as a war zone because of what they see and read in the news,” the 25-year-old says. Ahmad exposes people to a more human side of his country through @everydayiraq, the collaborative photography project he started. “I wanted to share the everyday life scenes with everyone, document it and put it there in history,” Ahmad says. “Everywhere in the world, people want to live a happy life; kids want to play and go to schools, families want to gather happily at dinner and youth want to help develop their society.”
Today, we’re joining Ahmed in encouraging storytellers to express themselves by rolling out a comment moderation tool that everyone can use. We are committed to keeping Instagram a safe and positive place for self-expression.
Ahmed (@mesopotami) believes in the power of storytelling and creativity. “When we first landed in America, I didn’t really know exactly where I belonged,” says the 18-year-old, who was born in Iraq but spent two years as a refugee in Syria before his family received asylum in the US in 2008. Now, he is thriving in college in Connecticut and says his challenges inspired him to found Narratio.org, a site which publishes art, photography, fiction and poetry by young people — and to write his own memoir too.
“I think that youth worldwide can turn their passions into something that can benefit whole communities, and even whole countries,” Ahmed says, but he acknowledges how important it is for creators to feel their work will be appreciated. “In order for a platform to prosper and thrive, a safe community must be established. We are all walking stories, meant to be appreciated and shared, forming the colorful thread that frames our humanity.”
Today, U.S. military engagement in the Middle East looks increasingly permanent. Despite the White House having formally ended the wars Iraq and Afghanistan, thousands of U.S. troops and contractors remain in both countries. The U.S. is dropping bombs on Iraq and Syria faster than it can make them, and according to the Pentagon, its bombing campaign in Libya has “no end point at this particular moment.” The U.S. is also helping Saudi Arabia wage war in Yemen, in addition to conducting occasional airstrikes in Yemen and Somalia….
Despite the lack of progress, the last 15 years of war have come at a horrific cost.
It was about two years ago to the day I was blacklisted at CNN.
I don’t want to remind them they were sadly wrong, but they were. So write this off however you prefer, but understand that we were lied to again to drag us again into an open-ended war in Iraq-Syria. Last time it was Bush and those missing Weapons of Mass Destruction. This time is was Obama and saving the Yazidi people from genocide.
Experts have long known that [Abu Bakr al-]Baghdadi spent time in U.S. custody during the occupation of Iraq. Previous reports suggested he was at Camp Bucca, a sprawling detention facility in southern Iraq. But the U.S. Army confirmed to The Intercept that Baghdadi spent most of his time in U.S. custody at the notorious Abu Ghraib….
He was only transferred to Camp Bucca… less than two months before his release…
There is little good Washington can do, but it can still inflict a great deal of harm, even if it is motivated by the best of intentions. In The Great Partition, the British historian Yasmin Khan asserted that the partition of India and Pakistan, which killed over one million and displaced many millions, “stands testament to the follies of empire, which ruptures community evolution, distorts historical trajectories and forces violent state formation from societies that would otherwise have taken different – and unknowable – paths.” The same lessons can be learned in Iraq, Libya, and the clumsy international intervention in Syria. It is time that the West started to mind its own business rather than address the failure of the last intervention with the same tools that caused the disaster in the first place.
Severe fighting in Hasakah, in north-east Syria, continues between Syrian government forces and U.S. advised Kurdish YPG groups. It is still unclear why these clashes broke out after years of mostly peaceful co-existence in the city.
These clashes convince Turkey that the danger of a Kurdish state creation is imminent. This will unite the Turkish, Syrian, Iranian and Iraqi hostile positions towards such plans. This unity ends the dreams of an independent Kurdish nation.
The black-and-white moralising of Western foreign policymaking not only proved woefully inadequate when dealing with the complex realities of a civil struggle; it corrupted that struggle, deepened the involvement of regional and international players, empowered warlords and Islamist militias, and backed Assad into a corner from which there was no non-military way of escape. Any resolution that might have been possible at the start became impossible.
…Trump is a captive of the ridiculous idea that once we’re in we have to stay in and fight until we achieve “victory.” What he doesn’t realize is that when you’ve dug yourself into a hole the way out is to stop digging – and his failure to understand this simple principle is surely replicated by the way he’s conducted his campaign so far.