Kurdistan: a shot at statehood
Foreign aid and oil money have been key to the survival of Kurdistan’s two mafia-like ruling clans, the Barzanis and the Talabanis. And poverty, lots of it. For their success depends on them being the ones with all the cash to splash.
Mosul’s new masters
After Isis, came the mafia. In Mosul, a jumbled assortment of Iran-backed militias, known collectively as the Hashd al-Shaabi, compete for their share of the spoils of war.
The vapers of Mosul
Out on the hustle with three buccaneering entrepreneurs, selling vapes in war-torn Mosul. Moslawis are born entrepreneurs. Given half the chance, they can make their city great again.
Syrian Kurds face bleakest winter
Syrian Kurds, who fled Turkish bombing last year, adjust to life in an Iraqi camp. Mercenaries have looted, burned and confiscated properties back home. They know they’re never going back.
‘We are only 1,000, but we fight like 10,000.’
In the hills of northern Iraq, I meet showman general Hussein Yazdanpanah, whose Iranian Kurdish fighters are fighting against a resurgent Islamic State and the Tehran-backed Hashd al-Shaabi militias.
The best weapon against war in Iraq is a waistcoat
For the dapper young men at Mr Erbil, style is survival. In their emporium of hip, espressos are sipped and style flaunted as chaos and menace swirl outside. No talk of religion or politics permitted.
‘You live with these men as a slave. It’s free for them to do anything’
Naveen Rasho endured five years of hell at the hands of Islamic State. She survived the fall of the caliphate in Baghuz, only to face the fresh horror of detention at Al Hawl camp in Syria with her captor’s three brides.
Cherry: A life stranger than fiction
Nico Walker served as an army medic in Iraq’s ‘Triangle of Death’. Returning home with severe PTSD, he turned to heroin and bank robberies. Now in prison, he has reinvented himself as a bestselling novelist.
Lives shattered, Syria’s Kurds flee to Iraq
Dependent on what she describes as a “spider’s web” of drivers and smugglers, Gulistan and her family pushed blindly through the confusion of an eight-year civil war that had recently taken yet another deadly turn.
Global Ear: Dé:Nash
Hungarian rapper Dé:Nash mines his country’s collective consciousness, satirising the Fidesz regime’s use of ancient legend, historical grievances and conspiracy theories to craft a new national narrative.