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Faces of Iraq

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015 | Posted by Sean McLachlan

Proud dad in Nasiriyah

Proud dad in Nasiriyah

The Iraqis we see in the news almost always fall into three types–The Evil Fundamentalist, The Useless Official, and The Wailing Victim. The media have a hard time dealing with a broad range of characters, so they tend to fall back on these types again and again.

Of course the reality is more complex. While there’s no shortage of bloodshed and corruption, most of Iraq’s 33 million people go about their day-to-day affairs trying to live a normal life.

Back in 2012 I traveled to Iraq to write about it for the now-moribund travel blog Gadling. Click the link to read the series. Sadly, the photo galleries have been taken offline, but you can still read the articles for the moment.

While stuck in Baghdad traffic (a common occurrence) this guy pulled up next to my van, did a double take when he saw me, then shook my hand, welcomed me to Iraq, and told me to take his photo.

While stuck in Baghdad traffic (a common occurrence) this guy pulled up next to my van, did a double take when he saw me, then shook my hand, welcomed me to Iraq, and told me to take his photo.

It was surprisingly easy to take photos on the streets. Most people said yes when I asked, and many people came up to me asking for me to take their photo. Some even insisted. It was obvious they wanted to be documented as another view of their country. So here are a few portraits of Iraqis to keep these folks from being faceless. Unfortunately, those whose names I know will have to remain nameless. Being friendly to a foreigner isn’t a problem in most parts of Iraq, but it’s probably illegal in the Islamic State.

For more of my photos, feel free to drop by my blog for a post about Street Food in Iraq. You might also like my posts about Mosul, Hatra, and the medieval monuments in Baghdad here on Black Gate.

Metalworker in the Baghdad souk.

Metalworker in the Baghdad souk.

 

The local football pitch.

The local football pitch.

Kids goofing around at the Hermal archaeological site on the outskirts of Baghdad.

Kids goofing around at the Hermal archaeological site on the outskirts of Baghdad.

The class clown.

The class clown.

Fetching roast chicken for lunch.

Fetching roast chicken for lunch.

Roadside eatery.

Roadside eatery.

Bookshop in Baghdad.

Bookshop in Baghdad.

Curious kids.

Curious kids.

This boy helped run his dad's ice factory in a Christian community near Mosul.

This boy helped run his dad’s ice factory in a Christian community near Mosul.

Three generations at a Shia shrine.

Three generations at a Shia shrine.

Elderly visitors to a Shia shrine.

Elderly visitors to a Shia shrine.

Ride at at Abu Nuwas Park, Baghdad. This is a neutral ground where Sunni, Shia, and Christians come to chill out.

Ride at Abu Nuwas Park, Baghdad. This is a neutral ground where Sunni, Shia, and Christians can chill out.

Marsh Arab boatman in southern Iraq.

Marsh Arab boatman in southern Iraq.

Yours truly with his little Nasiriyah buddies. Photo courtesy Rob Hammond.

Yours truly with his little Nasiriyah buddies. Photo courtesy Rob Hammond.


Sean McLachlan is the author of the post-apocalyptic Toxic World series and several other titles, including his action series set in World War One, Trench Raiders. His historical fantasy novella The Quintessence of Absence, was published by Black Gate. Find out more about him on his blog and Amazon author’s page.

All photos copyright Sean McLachlan except where otherwise noted.

3 Comments »

  1. Wonderful photos, Sean. Thanks for posting!

    Comment by Jeremy Erman - June 4, 2015 2:12 am

  2. Thanks for continuing to make these posts here! Beautiful!

    Comment by Matt W - June 4, 2015 12:23 pm

  3. Nice!

    Comment by peadarog - June 7, 2015 4:53 am


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