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Voices from IraqA People's History, 2003-2009$
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Mark Kukis

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231156929

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231156929.001.0001

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The Sanctity of Guns and Shrines

The Sanctity of Guns and Shrines

(p.3) The Sanctity of Guns and Shrines
Voices from Iraq

Mark Kukis

Columbia University Press

In this chapter, Ra'ad Obaeid Hussein and Ahmed Abu Ali share their experiences during the Iraq war. Born in 1970, Ra'ad Obaeid Hussein joined the military at an early age and rose to the rank of major by 2003. He was an artillery officer when the war started, second in command overseeing three batteries of long-range cannons. He and his fellow artillerymen shed their uniforms and disbanded after their cannons were destroyed. Ra'ad made his way back to his family in Baghdad as the Saddam Hussein regime was in its final days. Ahmed Abu Ali is a devout Shi'ite in his early thirties, living in Baghdad where he was a shopkeeper living a quiet life with a wife and two young daughters before the U.S. invasion. Ali decided to take his family to the Imam Hussein Shrine in Karbala, where many people were gathering. He later joined the Mahdi Army militia and came to consider himself a resistance fighter dedicated to ridding Iraq of the American occupation.

Keywords:   invasion, Ra'ad Obaeid Hussein, Ahmed Abu Ali, Iraq war, Baghdad, Saddam Hussein, Karbala, Imam Hussein Shrine, militia, Iraq

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