Frontline Club: Iraq film premiere and debate

How has risk rewritten the rules for Iraqi journalists? The Frontline Club in London premieres A Strange Animal, a short film featuring me and my colleagues in Iraq. The film, directed by Richard Pendry, reveals some of the techniques reporters have developed in a conflict where they are targeted for kidnap and murder.

The screening at the Frontline Club was followed by a debate about the growing role of local journalists in covering conflict. The Frontline website has a short article summarising the debate, as well as video and podcast of the entire proceedings. A short version of A Strange Animal was screened by Newsweek and The Daily Beast.

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Sunni Militia’s Struggle for Relevance

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A bomb attack outside an Iraqi military base has killed scores of Sunni Sahwa militiamen who were queuing for their wages. The manner in which the men died seems to embody their leaders’ concerns: picked out by vengeful enemies at the gates of an institution that remains wary of them. The Sahwa (Awakening) fighters partnered the US against their former allies in al-Qaeda – but now feel betrayed by the Iraqi state.

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Iraqi Interpreter’s Killing Pits Faith Against Law

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An Iraqi man who worked as an interpreter for the US military is shot dead for having apparently converted to Christianity. The reaction to his murder illustrates the difficulty of balancing ancient articles of faith against a democratic obligation to guard religious minorities.

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Tussle Looms Over Iraqi Jewish Archive

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Baghdad is urging the US to return a trove of artifacts that date to the now-extinct Jewish presence in Iraq. However, Jewish groups also want access to the valuable archive – which may not be possible if it is returned to Iraq.

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Rise of Iran Reveals Polarised Iraq

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After an inconclusive election, Iraq’s political rivalries are best understood in terms of contrasting attitudes towards Iran – showing the extent of Tehran’s influence over its neighbour.

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Financial Times Weekend magazine: Policing Kirkuk

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Kirkuk’s anti-terrorist police ride around in battered pickup trucks, keeping a nervous lookout for the bombers that have killed scores of their colleagues. With the American military eying an exit from Iraq, the force has become a central player in a seemingly intractable conflict over land and oil.

I accompanied the officers as they carried out overnight raids in pursuit of an insurgent cell linked to al-Qaeda.

Photographs by Kamaran Najm/Metrography