Goodbye Lenin and the EU Referendum

Waking up to the results of the EU Referendum, has been like waking up in the German Democratic Republic and finding the Berlin Wall has come down. It’s looking through a mangled mess of concrete and iron, where everything that has been familiar, has now been taken away. 

On the surface everything is normal, as it appeared when the Soviet Union disbanded. The traffic still rolls, people need to work and items are available to buy in shops. The civil service still functions, children still go to school, while opinions are divided on this very public vote.

The Ghost of Margaret Thatcher

When the USSR disbanded, citizens from across the Union discovered their citizenship had been revoked. In a short period of time, people soon discovered that being “Soviet” no longer held substance under the new democracy. 

While people in the West celebrated the triumph of Capitalism over Communism, people whose lives had been shaped by the freedom of movement around the Soviet Union, were shocked that in many of the new republics, they were no longer welcome.

Trump campaign sees hope in Brexit vote

In the face of dispiriting new poll numbers and fundraising woes, Donald Trump and his supporters took solace Sunday in last week’s stunning Brexit vote as the latest evidence of an anti-establishment mood that’s also seen in the presumptive Republican presidential front-runner’s meteoric rise. 

Paul Manafort, senior adviser to the Trump campaign, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Brexit was about “people taking back control,” which he says are “the same issues that cause the angst in America today,” and will be driving themes in the 2016 election. 

The Iraqi Artists Replacing Rubbish With Beauty

A group of fine arts students have come together to try and change the appearance of Iraq’s capital, Baghdad. “We wanted to draw on the city’s walls and concrete barriers to bring a bit of beauty back to the city,” explains Zainab al-Hala, one of the art students, who painted the musical notes of the Iraqi anthem on the walls of Mustansiriya University, one of the country’s most prestigious educational institutes. 

The art work that resulted was supposed to foster values like peace and solidarity and to promote political slogans that more accurately reflect the desires of Iraq’s younger generation. “There are no political parties supporting this project,” al-Hala told NIQASH. “All the materials were bought with money collected by the participants or with their own money. And everyone contributes according to the skills or means they have.”

Remembering The Jews of Dhi Qar In Architecture

The old man was sitting out in front of the Al Batha cinema in Nasiriyah, basking in the sun just under the star of David that was painted on the cinema’s walls. “This cinema was part of a lot of Jewish-owned property in the city,” the 78-year-old man, who wished to be known only as Abu Jamal, told NIQASH. 

“But it was taken over by the state and rented out to others, who were not aware of the history and value of the building. They have misused it and they haven’t preserved its history.” “The old days here were good days,” Abu Jamal continued, before listing the names of his Jewish friends. “We used to spend a lot of time with them, sharing meals and sad and happy occasions.”