Iraqi Youth Demonstrate against Sectarianism, in Favor of National Unity (Video by Cole)

During my trip to Iraq last week, I visited Mutanabbi Street, a district of bookstores, handicrafts, and cultural centers, on Friday morning. I kept bumping into people I knew, including historians from Baghdad University.

At the bottom of the street at a square abutting the Tigris, in front of the statue of the great medieval poet al-Mutanabbi, I was surprised to discover a youth rally going on.

Iraqi youth were demonstrating against sectarian divisions, insisting on Iraqi unity, and saying they are all Kurds, all Sunnis, all Shi’ites, all Izidis, all Sabeans (May 10, 2013). Some were wearing t-shirts, each with the name of an Iraqi ethnic or religious group on it, to celebrate the diversity of the country even as they insisted on its unity.

We have heard a lot about sectarian divisions in Iraq, which certainly are an important part of the political landscape. But the idealism of the youth, and their rallies against ethnic hatreds, is seldom reported on.

Anti-Sectarian Youth Rally, al-Mutanabbi Street, Baghdad Pt. 1:

And here they are chanting:

Anti-Sectarian Youth Rally, al-Mutanabbi Street, Baghdad Pt. 2:

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2 Responses

  1. Again, truly good and heart-warming news.

    I have been on the record since 1980 favoring the “soonest possible” transition to some sort of localized-federalized world government — yet somehow not replicating the authoritative/elitist tendencies of existing national governments. Back in the days before the internet I spoke “3 or 4 generations” of education and reform before such a transition might be realistically possible.

    Now, perhaps, with 21st Century technology, such a transition may be possible more quickly (and I’ve done my best to think about the tools such a transition would entail, and write about that at my site). The challenges facing us seem to make a hasty transition more necessary than ever.

  2. My God, THIS CANNOT BE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE!!! Get the Destabilizer-in-Chief over at Langley on the horn right now! If Those People ever all start pulling on the same end of the rope, who knows WHERE Our Blessed Hegemony and Corporate “National” Interests will end up! Holy Jesus, this might even spread to SYRIA!, with UNTOLD consequences! Start looking for Wedges to drive into anything that looks like “solidarity!” Get some of Our People over there RIGHT NOW to, I don’t know, set off a couple of bombs or something! You know what to do!

    And while you’re at it, get Holder over here! He needs a bracing on using all that power to keep the rabble from seeing how we are using all that power! And remind him: No “enforcement” of securities and antitrust and worker-protection and environmental laws until we finish up changing what’s “legal!”

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