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09/02/2010

Because like it or not, all modern Americans have an investment in Iraq

by Jeremy Hooper

An important four part series from journalist Michael Luongo:

I was in Baghdad in mid-2009 for my second time. The post-surge trip introduced me to places I had only heard of in stories — what then seemed like fables — told to me by Ali Hili, the director of Iraqi LGBT, a London-based human rights group working with gay men in Iraq, and by other gay men I had met in Baghdad two years earlier.
...
I would grow to fall in love with a newly vibrant Baghdad. Not that I didn’t still have much to fear as a visiting gay journalist — from conversations that could be tapped to entrapment, spies, and the bullets of panicked Iraqi soldiers. In the end, there was much that didn’t fully makes sense — for me, for the local gay men, and for anyone living in this ancient cradle of civilization, a place somewhere between war and peace.

Screen Shot 2010-09-02 At 8.49.57 AmThis four-part series does not aim to duplicate the work of reporters who, over the past four years, exposed the targeted killings of Iraqi gay men. My goal instead is to draw on my experiences in the spaces where gay men socialize, where they have been killed and where they hide, to demystify what remains an abstraction for Western audiences.
PART 1: A Return to Baghdad: What Changed and What Didn’t Since 2007 [Gay City News]

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