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‘Flavours of Iraq’ chronicles a country at war

Screengrab of 'Flavours of Iraq' by Feurat Alani and Léonard Cohen. Arte Editions / Editions Nova

French-Iraqi journalist Feurat Alani has observed and chronicled the changes that have swept Iraq, first through the eyes of a child, and later as a journalist. His animated TV series, “Flavours of Iraq” will be broadcast on FRANCE 24.

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The son of an Iraqi political refugee living in Paris, Feurat Alani first visited Iraq in the summer of 1989. Still a young boy, he discovers the country of his ancestors, as Iraq enjoys a brief period of respite between the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War and the 1990-1991 Gulf War. But soon, young Feurat – whose name is derived from the Euphrates River – begins to pay less attention to his cousin’s Toyota, and more to the growing shadow of politics, that seems to reach even the most intimate spheres of life.

From the brutal reign of Saddam Hussein to the start of the civil war and the US intervention, the young reporter chronicles the country’s descent into chaos. Its pride battered by occupation, its identity fractured by growing hatred between Sunnis and Shias, its ideology corrupted by the birth of the Islamic State (IS) group.

Slowly, the flavors of Iraq change. From the sweet taste of apricot ice-cream to the bitterness of conflict.

Retracing his childhood memories through the eyes of an adult, Alani first published his story on Twitter. It was later adapted into a graphic novel and an animated series, co-produced by Arte and Nova. Watch it in English on FRANCE 24 every Tuesday at 5.45pm (Paris time) in our weekly show “Middle East Matters”.

Episode 1: Apricot ice-cream
Episode 2: The cowboy of Fallujah
Episode 3: Love under surveillance
Episode 4: War in the playground
Episode 5: Reeboks in Baghdad
Episode 6: Saddam and my father
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