Sunday, 22nd May 2022
<To guardian.ng
Search

In Iraq, generous Mideast tradition of ‘istiftah’ lives on

As the sun rises over Arbil's historic bazaar, shopkeepers sweep their stoops and eagerly await the "istiftah" -- the first customer of the day, believed to be a good omen. The first customer of the day gets to name his or her price for the goods or service being purchased, without the usual process of haggling and compromise that is quintessential to street markets.

Related

10 Oct 2021
In the autumn of 2019, an unprecedented protest movement engulfed the Iraqi capital Baghdad and the predominantly Shiite south of the country. Demonstrators were angry at the widespread corruption and incompetence of the political class, but also the influence of neighbouring Iran and its militias. An extremely violent crackdown left at least 600 dead and 21,000 injured in just a few months. Meanwhile, the leaders of the protest movement became the target of assassinations. As Iraq prepares to hold parliamentary elections, more and more voices are accusing pro-Iranian armed groups of being behind a campaign of systematic violence. FRANCE 24's Jonathan Walsh and Amar Al Hameedawi report.
14 Oct 2021
Years of protests have resulted in some reforms. But, in the run-up to Iraq's parliamentary elections, optimism for genuine systemic political change remains slim, and voter turnout could hit an all-time low.
11 Oct 2021
The elections, which took place amid a widespread election boycott by anti-government activists, didn't generate much enthusiasm among Iraq's young population.
8 Nov 2021
Women represent half the population in Iraq, but are almost invisible in the public sphere. In this ultra-conservative society, a woman's place is neither at school nor at work, but out of sight at home. Yet some brave women have decided to fight against these traditions, despite the danger. Our reporters went to meet them.
13 Nov 2021
The protesters are angered by October's election results, which saw pro-Iran groups lose seats in parliament. Security forces have been deployed to disperse the demonstrators.
8 Nov 2021
The residence of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi was hit in an apparent drone attack, Iraqi officials said. The military has described the strike as an assassination attempt.
10 Nov 2021
After losing in the latest federal election, supporters of some Iraqi political parties have resorted to riots and even likely drone attacks to avoid being sidelined. Could the situation escalate?
15 Nov 2021
Somali artisan Muse Mohamud Olosow carefully sorts through a huge pile of camel bones, discarded by a slaughterhouse in Mogadishu, selecting pieces that he will carve into jewelry and ornate beads used by fellow Muslims while reciting prayers. To Olosow's knowledge, he is one of just four artisans in his country of 16 million people who work with the bones of camels.
21 Nov 2021
Women represent half the population in Iraq, but are almost invisible in the public sphere. In this ultra-conservative society, a woman's place is neither at school nor at work, but out of sight at home. Yet some brave women have decided to fight against these traditions, despite the danger. Our reporters went to meet them.
21 Nov 2021
In France, brasseries are an institution. They offer simple, tasty dishes in the style of traditional home cooking. Brasseries were born more than a century ago with the "bouillons" of Paris. Today, their decoration has changed little, but their success is still intact. FRANCE 24 gives you a taste of this timeless constant in French gastronomy, from Paris to Lyon via Saint-Tropez.
2 Dec
Sufi whirling is a form of dancing that dates back to the 12th or 13th century. This mystic tradition emphasises the inward search for the divine. Not many women practice the dance in public but we're joined in the studio by one of them, Rana Gorgani. She tells us more about this unique form of dance.
12 Dec
It's a job normally reserved for men, but one group of women in Iraq has taken on the dangerous task of clearing mines in the northern region of Mosul. The area is littered with hidden explosives left behind by the Islamic State group. We take a closer look at these women risking their lives and shattering stereotypes along the way.