Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Journalists Launch Newspaper to Cover Iraq Protests

Journalists Launch Newspaper to Cover Iraq Protests

Tuesday, 5 November, 2019 - 07:45
A tuk-tuk drives away from tear gas fired by Iraqi security forces during anti-government protests in Baghdad on October 26, 2019. (Reuters)

Iraqi journalists launched on Monday the first edition of a newspaper dedicated to covering the country’s massive popular protests.

The daily is named “Tuk-tuk” after the vehicle youths have been using to transport wounded protesters to hospitals. The tuk-tuk has also been instrumental in delivering food, water, medicine and supplies to the protesters at Baghdad’s Tahrir Square.

Contributing editor Ahmed al-Sheikh Majed told Asharq Al-Awsat that the newspaper aimed to document all aspects of the rallies at the square.

It will highlight the heroics of the tuk-tuk drivers, he added.

Protesters have come under fire from security forces. Some 270 people have been killed throughout Iraq since the rallies broke out in October.

Sheikh Majed added that the newspaper also includes news about protests across the country. It will feature opinion articles by famous Iraqi writers and studies and researches about the protests.

He said the 2,000 copies of the first edition were printed. Tuesday’s edition will have the same number of copies.

“We are funding the newspaper ourselves and from donations,” he said. The daily was distributed free of charge at Tahrir Square to eager readers.

The eight-page daily is edited by six volunteer journalists and is the brainchild of journalist and poet Ahmed Abdul Hussein.

Tens of thousands of Iraqis have demonstrated in central Baghdad and across southern Iraq since October 25, calling for the overthrow of the government and sweeping political change. The protests are fueled by anger at widespread corruption, high unemployment and poor public services.

Despite Iraq being OPEC's second-largest crude producer, one in five Iraqis live below the poverty line and youth unemployment stands at 25 percent.

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