Ghaith Abdul-Ahad: Five years in Iraq

Iraqi journalist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad returns to Baghdad for the Guardian and ITV and provides a rare multimedia glimpse into the reality of life in the Iraqi capital, five years after the start of the war.
Ghaith Abdul Ahad portrait. © S.M. /
Ghaith Abdul-Ahad. © S.M. /

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, 33, is an Iraqi journalist who writes for the Guardian and a photographer for Getty Images. He was one of the few Iraqi journalists to have made a name for himself in Western journalism, and he is now one of the few journalists who still venture across sectarian lines in an effort to cover the conflict from all sides.

For the fifth anniversary of the start of the U.S.-led invasion, Abdul-Ahad went back to Baghdad for the Guardian once more for an emotional visit in which he tried to match the city he was born and grew up in with what is left of it after five years of relentless war.

Abdul-Ahad also teamed up with Guardian Films and ITV to produce a series of short films about life in Baghdad; they have been shown this week on ITV and are also available on the Guardian website.

They provide a rare glimpse of life in Baghdad, five years after the start of a war which president George W. Bush still claims has been "a success," and of the difficulties for journalists to report the story.

Click here for an overview of the Guardian's "Five Years in Iraq" package and a selection of Abdul-Ahad's earlier dispatches from Iraq.

Click here for a slideshow of some of Ghaith Abdul-Ahad's pictures of the past five years and here for his audio commentary on the war in Iraq.

The links below will take you to the short films on the Guardian website.

Baghdad: City of walls
Video: Baghdad: City of walls

Video (4min 37sec):
In the first of Ghaith Abdul-Ahad's films to mark the fifth anniversary of the Iraq war, he investigates claims that the US military surge is bringing stability to Iraq.

Iraq graveyard Ghaith Abdul-Ahad film
Video: Baghdad's killing fields

Video (4min 27sec):
Ghaith Abdul-Ahad visits Baghdad's killings fields on the edge of Sadr City, the scene of thousands of sectarian murders over the last three years.

Iraqi child in Ghaith Abdul-Ahad's Baghdad: City of Walls film
Video: Iraq's lost generation

Video (4min 32sec):
In the last of Ghaith Abdul-Ahad's films to mark the fifth anniversary of the Iraq war, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad travels to an orphanage in Sadr city where he finds a generation of Iraqi children have been radicalized and anti-westernized by the war.

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[ Saalouk #1: Ghaith Abdul-Ahad ] 'You don't get extra credit for being an Iraqi'
Posted on 01/04/2008 - 13:05
During the 'Jahiliah,' the days of ignorance, the poets were the media. While some sang the praises of whoever was in power, others refused to sell out and vowed only to tell the truth. They were the 'saalik' or 'tramps.' In this new section, MENASSAT profiles Arab journalists who we consider to be the modern-day 'saalik.' Our 'Saalouk #1' is Iraqi writer/photographer Ghaith Abdul-Ahad. Bagdad, Iraq. Local Sunni militia interrogate a Qaida suspect. © Gaith Abdul-Ahad