‘There is no state’: Iraqi-Canadians in Halifax worry for families amid bloody uprisings

On the streets of Baghdad, a 24-year-old blogger and freelance journalist points his camera at Iraqi protesters, capturing the anger and hope of tens of thousands who are demanding the fall of the political elite.

As security forces in Iraq continue to kill protesters, Moustafa Nader is making it his mission “to bring attention (to what’s happening) and to create positive energy through these photographs.”

“These photos will make people want to come to the protests,” he said to Global News in a phone interview in Arabic. “It will also help raise awareness internationally.”

As of Nov. 5, at least 267 protesters, mostly young people and teens, in Baghdad and across southern Iraq have been killed in two major waves of anti-government demonstrations in the country since Oct. 1.

The protesters want an overhaul of the political system established after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, accusing the government and major parties of corruption and incompetence, particularly in dealing with the economy and unemployment as well as the regular power cuts that take place in Iraq despite its vast oil reserves.

“I’ve bought a firefighter hat, a mask to protect me from tear gas and a breathing device. I also helped distribute these during the protests,” said Nader.

“It’s a very scary moment because as you start walking, you suddenly see the person who was walking next to you dead on the street because a tear bomb has hit him in the head. Not a bullet, but a bomb the size of your hands.”

Many of the demonstrations in Iraq have been caught on camera and circulated on social media. That’s how many of the Iraqi-Canadians in Halifax and all over Canada have been keeping up with the protests.

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