December 14, 2010 |
In the sacred Shiite city of Najaf, where women hide themselves behind dark robes and head scarves, 15-year-old Ban wears the wrong kind of black. She likes dark, ripped gloves, silver butterfly shirts and white dice on a chain. She paints her nails black and brushes on matching eye shadow. Ban is an emo, belonging to a subculture that may have gone mainstream in the rest of the world, but sure hasn't here. She pronounces it "emu. " Either way, it means she's a goth with a fondness for sparkle.
October 20, 2010 |
A roadside bomb targeted the convoy of the U.N.'s special envoy to Iraq on Tuesday in the usually placid southern Shiite city of Najaf after his meeting with the country's top Shiite religious leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani. U.N. special representative Ad Melkert was unhurt in the attack, which struck an Iraqi police vehicle escorting him to the airport, U.N. spokeswoman Randa Jamal said. But the blast killed an Iraqi policeman and injured three other people, none of them United Nations employees, according to U.N. and Iraqi officials.
March 7, 2010 |
A car bomb ripped through a parking lot used by pilgrims in the Shiite holy city of Najaf on Saturday, killing three people in an attack that was almost certainly intended to ignite sectarian passions the day before Iraqis go to the polls. Two Iranians and an Iraqi were killed in the explosion about 300 yards from the Imam Ali shrine, one of the holiest sites in Shiite Islam. The attack near an Iranian tour bus also wounded 54 people, 19 of them Iranians, police said. The parliamentary elections Sunday find Iraqis choosing between secular and religious politicians, and hoping to close the door on a return to the sectarian war that crippled the country from 2005 to '07. In televised comments, the reclusive Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr, who is thought to be in Iran, urged his supporters to vote.
March 5, 2010 |
A car bomb exploded in the Shiite holy city of Najaf early Saturday, killing three people and wounding 54 others on the eve of Iraq's national elections, police said. The car detonated in a parking lot used by religious pilgrims, about 900 feet from the Imam Ali shrine, one of the holiest sites in Shiite Islam. The attack was almost certainly aimed at igniting sectarian passions among the country's Shiite majority population 24 hours before voting commences. The attack killed two Iranians and one Iraqi and left 19 Iranians among the wounded in the lot, where an Iranian tour bus had parked, police said.
April 9, 2009 |
All of the past is alive in Najaf's winding alleys, and none of it is forgotten by Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Hakim, who grins frequently and seems to delight in contradiction, as if his own suffering made him accept the paradoxes around him. In this Shiite Muslim holy city, Saddam Hussein stripped away clerics' rights and harassed, imprisoned and killed them. Hakim, a scion of one of the country's most prominent religious families, managed to survive prison and wars. After the U.S.
July 13, 2008 |
The government may be in Baghdad and the oil reserves in Basra, but the smaller city of Najaf, halfway between Iraq's two centers of power, has a treasure that could be the envy of them both. "Our oil here is tourism," said Abdul Hussein Abtan, the deputy provincial governor in Najaf. Najaf and its neighbor Karbala hold some of Islam's holiest monuments. If they could, Shiite Muslims from around the Middle East would flock to the city to pray at the shrine of Imam Ali, the cousin and companion of the prophet Muhammad and his rightful successor according to the Shiite branch of Islam.