Iraq, 2003-2020: from invasion to revolution

Hosted by the Conflict and Civil Society Research Unit

Online public event


Dr Sinan Antoon

Dr Sinan Antoon

Associate Professor, New York University's Gallatin School

Bassam Haddad

Bassam Haddad

Director of the Middle East and Islamic Studies Program


Dr Rim Turkmani

Dr Rim Turkmani

Principal Investigator, Legitimacy and Citizenship in the Arab World

The panellists will discuss why Iraqis are demonstrating to regain sovereignty over their nation and its resources by rejecting all foreign influence, seventeen years after the Iraq invasion.

In July of 2003, Haddad and Antoon were part of a collective that visited Baghdad to film About Baghdad (2004), a documentary about Iraqi lives under dictatorship and military occupation. In the seventeen years since, Iraqis have lived through military occupation, terrorism, sectarian violence, and massive corruption. But they have pushed back and protested against a corrupt political system that has degraded their lives. Their anger exploded in the October Uprising of 2019, which called for an end to seventeen years of corruption. Iraqi youth are demanding a new, non-sectarian, sovereign Iraq. The speakers will discuss these recent developments and their genealogy and show and reflect on clips from the documentary they co-directed.

This event is part of the Legitimacy and Citizenship in the Arab World project which is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

The event is co-organised with the Arab Studies Institute.

Speaker Bios

Dr Sinan Antoon (@sinanantoon) is an Associate Professor at New York University's Gallatin School. He is an award-winning and widely-celebrated novelist and poet who was born and raised in Baghdad. He was educated at Georgetown and Harvard where he obtained a doctorate in Arabic Literature in 2006. The English translation of his book The Book of Collateral Damage was published as by Yale University Press in 2019.

Dr Bassam Haddad (@4Bassam) is Director of the Middle East and Islamic Studies Program and Associate Professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. He is also the Executive Director of the Arab Studies Institute and the Founding Editor of the Knowledge Production Project and the Arab Studies Journal. 

Dr. Rim Turkmani (@Rim_Turkmani) is the Principal Investigator of the Legitimacy and Citizenship in the Arab World project and the Research Director of the Syria Conflict Research Programme in the Conflict and Civil Society Research Unit in the Department of International Development.


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