Iraq’s Political Disarray Likely to Remain After U.S. Departure

Iraq’s democratic system is in trouble. That much was acknowledged for the first time on Monday by U.S. Ambassador Christopher Hill. The immediate cause for his concern was the decision by Iraq’s Supreme Court to uphold the disqualification of 52 candidates who ran in the March 7 parliamentary elections — two of whom had won […]

Where Iraq Works

A Kurdish family celebrates Nowruz, a holiday marking the Kurdish New Year and the start of spring. Since 2003, no U.S troops have been killed in Kurdish Iraq. Kate Brooks/Polaris for TIME LIKE RESIDENTS OF BERLIN DURING THE AIRLIFT, inhabitants of Arbil–capital of the Kurdish enclave in northern Iraq–get a little flutter in their hearts […]

Iraq’s Christians Flock to Lebanon

The Palm Sunday celebration in the Beirut suburb of Al-Fanar looked like any of the hundreds occurring simultaneously in neighborhoods all over Lebanon. Priests led a procession of palm-frond waving parishioners, while parents snapped photos of their daughters dressed like poofy-skirted princesses. But when the signing and chanting stopped, the special nature of this community […]

Postcard from Erbil: A Very Kurdish New Year

Noruz, the Zoroastrian New Year and the first day of spring, is celebrated by Iraq’s Kurds every year on March 21. The holiday is a much bigger deal next door in Iran — ancient Persia is the birthplace of the Zoroastrian religion, and the government practically shuts down for weeks. The Kurds are given fewer […]

The Cloud Over Kirkuk

The drive east from the safe haven of Erbil, the Kurdish capital of northern Iraq, into the contested city of Kirkuk, is typically a spooky one. To the north, stands a chain of crumbling forts left over from the Iran-Iraq war; the Hamreen mountains to the south are practically deserted save for a series of […]