The ‘new Iraq’ that the warmongers promised us did not bring Starbucks or startups, but car bombs, al-Qaida and Islamic State
- Sinan Antoon is an Iraqi poet and novelist
In early 2003, I was living in Cairo and carrying out research for my doctoral dissertation on a famous Iraqi poet who lived in my hometown, Baghdad, in the 10th century. But I was increasingly anxious about the Baghdad of the 21st century.
Like millions of people across the world’s major cities, I took part in the massive protests against the then imminent invasion of Iraq. Tahrir Square, the centre of the revolution that toppled the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, eight years later, swelled with tens of thousands of angry Cairenes. We headed to the nearby US embassy, but the riot police pushed us back with batons.
The wind is a blind mother
over the corpses
save the clouds
but the dogs
are far quicker
The moon is a graveyard
the stars are women