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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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An End to Exile

An End to Exile

(p.47) An End to Exile
Voices from Iraq

Mark Kukis

Columbia University Press

In this chapter, Ayad Allawi and Mithal al-Alusi talk about their experiences during the Iraq war. A former Ba'ath party official, Ayad Allawi had been heavily involved in Iraqi dissident politics since the 1970s. For decades he plotted against Saddam Hussein while living in various corners of the Middle East and London. One night in 1978 he narrowly survived an attack by assassins likely sent by Saddam. He rushed back to Iraq in 2003 in the wake of the U.S. invasion, returning to the country for the first time in more than three decades. Mithal al-Alusi is an independent Sunni secularist politician who returned to Iraq in 2003 after nearly thirty years in exile spent mostly in Germany. In the early days of the occupation he earned a reputation for his outspokenness against sectarianism, among other issues. His views made him a number of enemies in Baghdad among Shi'ites and Sunnis alike as the city grew increasingly violent through 2004 and 2005.

Keywords:   exile, Ayad Allawi, Mithal al-Alusi, Iraq war, Iraq, dissident politics, Saddam Hussein, sectarianism, Shi'ites, Sunnis

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