Dossier: Iraq

A Persian "Haft Sin" table featuring seven foods and objects all beginning with the letter "s" (photo: Imago/UPI Photo)

Nowruz: one of the world's oldest festivals

"My paleness is yours, your colour is mine!"

The Iranian New Year celebration "Nowruz" has been a feature of Persian culture for more than 2,500 years. The roots of this festival lie in the ancient Persian religion of Zoroastrianism. Today, more than 300 million people all over the world celebrate Nowruz. Shohreh Karimian looks back at the history of this new year celebration and explains some of its customsMore

American troops evacuating a badly wounded female American soldier on the hood of a Humvee from a Baghdad police station after the station was attacked by rockets fired from an apartment building across the street, 25 May 2004, Baghdad, Iraq (photo: Michael Kamber)

Interview with American photojournalist Michael Kamber

Dispelling the myths of war and war photography

Michael Kamber is an American photojournalist and winner of the World Press Photo Award. Between 2003 and 2012 he covered the Iraq War extensively for the "New York Times". In 2013, he published the book "Photojournalists on war – The untold stories from Iraq", a mixture of photography and interviews with 39 photojournalists from different countries who worked in Iraq. Felix Koltermann spoke to him about his motivation for making this bookMore

Protesting Sunnis waving the flag of the Baath Party in Fallujah (photo: Birgit Svensson)

Fighting in the Iraqi province of Anbar

"Maliki is the new Saddam!"

The images coming out of the Iraqi province of Anbar shocked the world: masked fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) were seen patrolling the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah, waiting to take them over. Baghdad's central government seems to be losing its grip on the country's largest province. From Birgit Svensson in FallujahMore

Gardens in Islam

A Metaphor for Heavenly Paradise

Given the often extreme living conditions in the arid areas of the Islamic Orient, it comes as no surprise that oases and irrigated gardens have a very special status in the Muslim religion, the statements of the Prophet, and the holy scriptures. An essay by Eckhart EhlersMore

Clipping from Karim El-Gawhary's book (photo: publisher)

"Women's Power in Arabic"

Long-overdue Confrontations

In his new book, the journalist Karim El-Gawhary gives a voice and a face to strong Arab women, while moving beyond the clichés and headscarf debates. Martina Sabra describes the book as multifaceted, revealing, entertaining, emotionally moving, and definitely worth readingMore

Raid Yosif (photo: private copyright)

Iraqi Pop Music

Raid Yousif – A Superstar in Limbo

After fleeing his native Iraq and settling in Germany, Raid Yousif is devoting himself to developing his music career. Despite setbacks, he's intent on breaking new ground. Eike Rüdebusch reportsMore

Memorial for the unknown soldier in Ankara, Turkish flags in the background (photo: Tarik Tinazay/dpa)

Turkey's Foreign Policy

Return to Pragmatism

In the past month Ankara opened a membership chapter with the European Union after a 30-month hiatus, while intense diplomatic traffic is underway to end tensions with its Iranian and Iraqi neighbours. All of which is fuelling rising speculation that a major reset in Turkish foreign policy is underway. Dorian Jones looks at what lies behind the latest eventsMore

Ravaged by war: The Northern Syrian city of Homs (photo: Reuters)

Syria and the Middle East

The End of the Sykes Picot System?

Aside from the human suffering caused by Syria's ongoing war, we should be aware of the potentially dire regional consequences of Syria's disintegration: It would call the entire post-World War I Middle Eastern state system into question. By Volker PerthesMore

Akram at the Morgenland Festival in Osnabrück (photo: Morgenland-Festival)

Oriental Music Festival in Germany

The Silenced Sounds of Baghdad

Osnabrück's Morgenland Festival in Germany has been setting standards in the eastern music world since 2005. This year, the event focused on Baghdad, once the cradle of Oriental cultural life. Marian Brehmer reportsMore

An anti-Syrian regime protester holds up his fingers painted in revolutionary flag colors during a protest outside the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, Egypt Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012 (photo: Nasser Nasser/AP/dapd)

Commentary by Daoud Kuttab

An Arab "Third Way"

Throughout the post-colonial period, Arab countries have consistently failed to produce an efficient – let alone democratic – system of government. Now, after a half-century of competition between military or royal dictatorships and militant Islamist regimes, many Arabs are again seeking a "third way"More

A man in Basra holds his child, who is suffering from leukaemia (photo: DW/K. Zurutuza)

Depleted Uranium Munitions in Iraq

Deadly Dust Falls in Silence

There is no question that American and British troops in Iraq used depleted uranium (DU) in their munitions. While the United States continues to deny any responsibility for the consequences of uranium contamination, including severe deformities among newly born children, the international community has turned a blind eye to the problem. The city of Basra, as Birgit Svensson discovers, has borne the brunt of it allMore

Protests on Tahrir Square, Cairo (photo: Reuters)

The Aftermath of the Arab Spring

The Changing Map of Middle East Power

The eruption of the Arab revolts put power relations among Middle Eastern countries in a state of flux, and both winners and losers have emerged. But, given that the strengths and weaknesses of most of the actors are highly contingent, the regional balance of power remains highly fluid. By Volker PerthesMore

Supporters of PKK leader Öcalan near Diyabakir (photo: Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

Kurdish Rebels Retreating from Turkey

Finding a Safe Haven in Iraq

After three decades of war, Turkey and the Kurdish separatist PKK outfit are close to implementing a ceasefire. The first PKK fighters have already begun leaving Turkey for safe havens in Iraq. Birgit Svensson reportsMore

Worker on an oil field in Iraqi Kurdistan (photo: dpa)

Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan

Erdogan's Kurdish Gambit

Turkey's prime minister Erdogan envisions a new regional order under Turkish leadership, based on a realignment between Turks and Kurds that underpins a strategic partnership for exploiting the region's last untapped energy resources. By Sinan UlgenMore

Riots on Tahrir Square, Egypt (photo: dapd)

Essay by Nawaf Obaid

The Collapsing Arab State

The Arab Spring has toppled some regimes, though not others. But, more important, everywhere in the Arab world – and beyond – it has called into question the viability of the nation-state. An essay by Nawaf ObaidMore

Soldiers seen standing in front of the Iraqi (left) and Kurdish (centre) flags (photo: DW/K. Zurutuza)

On-going Sectarian Tension in Kirkuk

Stranded in Legal Limbo

Claimed by Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen alike, the oil-rich province of Kirkuk remains one of Iraq's most disputed and politically flammable regions ten years after Saddam Hussein was toppled. Karlos Zurutuza spoke to the most senior representatives of the region's different communities about the province's diverse problemsMore

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