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Iraqi Youth Protesters: Who They Are, What They Want, and What's Next

Author: Haley Bobseina

Middle East Institute2019

This analysis, written at an early stage of the 2019 protests, comments on the combination of longstanding grievances and the recent sources of anger, such as repression of protests calling for jobs for university graduates in September, which led to the mass eruption onto the streets of 'unemployed and underemployed youth' in Shia majority areas. It notes that there was little immediate response in Sunni-majority areas, because of the recent violence of the war against ISIS and fear of being targeted as pro-ISIS, or as supportive of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party. The author also examines why Shia protesters reject the existing political parties and often criticize Iran's role in Iraqi politics.

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