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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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Keeping to the Neighborhood

Keeping to the Neighborhood

(p.175) Keeping to the Neighborhood
Voices from Iraq

Mark Kukis

Columbia University Press

In this chapter, Ali Fahed Mahmood recounts his experience during the Iraq war. Ali Fahed Mahmood recalls how the sectarian war between Shi'ites and Sunnis turned Mansour, a mixed area where he lived, into a disaster zone. Shortly after the U.S. invasion, he joined a volunteer guard force established by the Americans to protect public buildings, and when the sectarian violence erupted he was in charge of security for forty guards keeping watch over sixteen schools. The threats started from both sides in the area as things got bad in 2004. Shi'ite militiamen with the Mahdi Army would paste warnings on the houses of Sunnis, telling them to leave. Sunni insurgents would post lists of names of people said to be working with the Americans, people who were to be killed. Ali Fahed Mahmood's name appeared on one of those lists, because he is a Shi'ite. Someone threw a threat letter into his yard, and later a grenade broke all the windows in his house. Ali Fahed Mahmood was still patrolling schools in his neighborhood as of January 2009.

Keywords:   schools, Ali Fahed Mahmood, Iraq war, Shi'ites, Sunnis, Mansour, invasion, sectarian violence, militiamen, insurgents

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