What is happening in Iraq right now is nothing short of magic.
It fills the heart like kubbat hamudh on a rainy day, and waters thirty skies like a Baghdadi love story rewriting itself every time two lovers kiss underneath the olive tree, and spoils the senses like Jiddu on your birthday, and breaks down walls with the firepower of Basrawi percussion, and elevates the soul like an angry Mawal breaking up the lifelessness of empty winter nights, and it is beautiful like a mother in Mosul planting flowers in her front yard.
It is everything.
In the face of live artillery, mindless savagery, arrests, crackdowns, beatings, threats and murder in broad daylight, Iraqis — young, disenfranchised, marginalized women and men — have reclaimed sidewalks, streets, neighborhoods, cities, provinces, and maybe the entire country, carving out new community spaces where they did not exist before.
They have taken over schools and city squares, occupied bridges and roads, baked bread on the streets to feed hungry protesters, treated burning eyes with homemade concoctions, pushed out snipers from high rises, inspired walkouts and strikes, and reignited the fire beneath the feet of millions that took to the streets, powered by the beats of unstoppable hearts.
More than 250 people have given their lives in a period of 28 days, and thousands more injured, all consumed by the multi headed monster that is the government of Iraq - a spiteful, hate spewing, greedy, incompetent puppet regime with a voracious appetite, always on the lookout to take a bite out of hope, life and the stars that color our eyes.
Young people, armed with nothing more than smartphones powered by courage, a choppy Internet connection strengthened by love, tuk tuks turned into ambulances, and makeshift signs scribbled with wary hands, have triggered a revolutionary movement that has crossed all “red lines,” burned down the death colored headquarters of foreign backed militia, stomped on the sanctity of a cowardly clergy and challenged the notion that Iraq is Dead......