Aseel's Feed
Mar 14, 2012

Iraq’s artists lament decline in cultural life

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Yasir Abdul-Hakim, a sculpture student at Iraq’s Fine Arts Academy, wanted to learn his craft by making copies of a nude Greek statue. A professor told him to cover them with clothes.

He covered the first one, but the second one he copied naked, as it was.

“One of the professors told me: ‘What are you doing? You are exposing your life to danger’,” Abdul-Hakim said with a bitter smile.

Mar 7, 2012

Banks that can’t cash a cheque slow Iraq economy

BAGHDAD, March 7 (Reuters) – An Iraqi businessman,
trying to cash in on the billions of dollars pouring into the
country from lucrative oil contracts, complains that his biggest
headache is not bomb attacks or sectarian politics but primitive

“Where are the credit cards?” said the businessman, who
represents a foreign automobile company in Iraq and declined to
be identified because of his dealings with the government.
Elsewhere in the Gulf, he noted, credit cards are widely used.
“How far away are we from this development?”

Mar 6, 2012

“Honor killings” require tougher laws, say Iraqi women

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, a father doused his three teenage daughters with boiling water and shot them because, he told a court, he suspected they were having sex. Two died.

He said he killed them to defend his honor.

Murder in Iraq can carry a death sentence but under laws that activists say are far too lenient for so-called “honor killings,” the father was jailed for just two years. Medical examinations showed the girls were virgins.

Mar 4, 2012

Iraq’s central bank places Warka bank under guardianship

BAGHDAD, March 4 (Reuters) – Iraq’s central bank
placed private bank Warka Bank under guardianship to supervise
it through insolvency, a senior official in the central bank
said on Sunday.

Warka Bank had been in talks with Standard Chartered Plc
to sell a stake last year, but the talks reached a dead
end, said Mudher Kasim, deputy governor of the central Bank of

Feb 26, 2012

Baghdad film festival turns eye to human rights

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – In a country where there still isn’t a single public cinema, where detainees complain of torture and militants blow people up because of their sect, supporters of Iraq’s first human rights film festival know they face a tough task.

Raed al-Rikabi, a professor of education and psychology at Baghdad University, said that during the darkest days of war in the past few years, his students sometimes struggled to see the point of learning about abstract concepts of human rights.

Feb 23, 2012

Iraq approves $100.5 bln budget for 2012

BAGHDAD, Feb 23 (Reuters) – Iraq’s parliament approved
on Thursday a much delayed $100 billion budget for 2012, based
on an average oil price of $85 per barrel and 2.6 million
barrels per day (bpd) in crude exports.

The long overdue budget approval was held up by frequent
disagreements between the country’s lawmakers. Under a delicate
power-sharing agreement, Iraq’s ministries have been divided
between Shi’ite, Sunni and Kurdish political blocs.

Feb 1, 2012

Iraq becomes dollar source for sanctions-hit Iran, Syria

BAGHDAD, Feb 1 (Reuters) – In the money changing shops
dotted around Baghdad’s Karrada district, Iraqi merchants dabble
in many currencies, but these days some joke that banknotes from
neighbouring Iran and Syria are only worth plastering on windows
as decorations.

Discounted Iranian rials and Syrian pounds are pouring into
the shops as Western economic sanctions against those two
countries make it harder for them to conduct trade with much of
the rest of the world, arrange international bank transactions
and obtain hard currency.

Jan 30, 2012

Sumerian gold jar, other relics returned to Iraq

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A 6,500-year-old Sumerian gold jar, the head of a Sumerian battle axe and a stone from an Assyrian palace were among 45 relics returned to Iraq by Germany on Monday.

The items were among thousands stolen from Iraq’s museums and archeological sites in the mayhem that followed the U.S.-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Jan 26, 2012

Iraq says to take legal action for Haditha victims

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq plans legal action on behalf of families of victims killed by U.S. troops in a 2005 massacre after the last soldier involved was spared jail time by a guilty plea with military authorities, a government spokesman said Thursday.

The Haditha massacre that killed 24 Iraqis, alongside the Abu Ghraib prison scandal and shootings by U.S. contractors in 2007, stoked global outrage against the nearly nine-year U.S. military presence after the 2003 invasion.

Dec 28, 2011

Foreign investors see robust 2012 for Iraq’s bourse

BAGHDAD, Dec 28 (Reuters) – Foreign interest in Iraq’s
fledgling stock exchange is expected to rise in 2012 after its
main index jumped more than 30 percent this year and investors
say a political crisis that threatens to increase sectarian
discord will not deter them.

Tensions came to the surface within the Iraqi government
immediately after the last U.S. troops left 10 days ago, opening
the door for a possibility of sectarian strife that drove the
country to the brink of civil war a few years ago.

    • About Aseel

      "I started working as reporter with Reuters in 2005. I am covering the fields of social services and the Iraqi society in general, recovering from six years of warfare since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. In January 2008, I signed a contract with Reuters and gain the title of a correspondent. Starting from 2010 i started to cover the financial and economic story."
    • Follow Aseel