Things are so bad in Iraq, protesters are seeing hope in porn star Mia Khalifa

One Iraqi demanded - in sarcasm - that she points out an Iraqi politician who is more honorable than her so he would seek his help. (Supplied)
Updated 10 December 2018
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Things are so bad in Iraq, protesters are seeing hope in porn star Mia Khalifa

  • The ongoing protests are against political system and poor living conditions mostly caused by Iranian intervention
  • 'At least Mia Khalifa comfort gives me comfort every night, what do our politicians do for us?' said one Iraqi in anger

BAGHDAD: Mia Khalifa, the US porn sensation of Lebanese origins is no stranger to protests and controversy. Indeed, ever since she shot up to fame as one of the most popular actresses on American porn sites, she has been the subject of protest and crisicisim across the Arab World. In particular, she has received heavy crticism in her home country of Lebanon, a country dominated by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah.

However, while some of her critics may like her in secret but disown her in public; Khalifa has recently proven publically popular in a very unlikely place: Iraq.

Protesters - angry at the political situation and poor living conditions caused mostly by Iranian intervention - have carried her picture and made comparisons between the adult actress and Iraqi politicians, who are infamous for their corruption and Tehran connections.

One Iraqi demanded - sarcastically - that she points out an Iraqi politician who is more honorable than her so he would seek his help, insinuating that there are none.

He said in his Iraqi dialect: “Who is more honorable than you, Mia, so I can complain to him?”

He pointed out that he found Mia Khalifa more helpful to him than most politicians in the country and the members of the provincial council.

The young man added that Mia gave him comfort, while Iraqi politicians were useless and incapable of providing the city with minimum life requirements, like water, electricity, sanitation, and education.

The city of Basra has been witnessing a wave of mass protests for the last two months in response to the deterioration of services, lack of job opportunities, and contaminated drinking water during this hot weather. Dozens of the protesters have been killed and injured in clashes with the police, especially after the protests have been renewed in the past two days.


Ancient Afghan citadel collapses, cultural heritage sites at risk

Updated 15 June 2019
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Ancient Afghan citadel collapses, cultural heritage sites at risk

  • The old citadel known as Ghaznain Fort originally had 36 towers, but 14 of the towers had collapsed in recent years
  • The fort is one of dozens of unique historic sites in Afghanistan in urgent need of protection

GHAZNI, Afghanistan: An ancient tower dating back 2,000 years in the historic Afghan city of Ghazni collapsed this week, local officials said, raising concerns about the vulnerability of the country’s cultural heritage and the government’s ability to protect them.
The old citadel known as Ghaznain Fort originally had 36 towers, but 14 of the towers had collapsed in recent years due to decades of war, heavy rain and neglect.
The fort is one of dozens of unique historic sites in Afghanistan — ranging from the pre-Islamic Buddhist center in the Bamyan valley to the 12th century minaret of Jam in a remote area of Ghor province — in urgent need of protection.
Officials in Ghazni, which nearly fell to the Taliban last year in some of the heaviest fighting seen in the war, said the tower collapsed on Tuesday following heavy rain. A short video posted on social media shows it crumbling but local residents say negligence also contributed to its collapse.
“The government paid no attention to the sites and didn’t build canals to divert flood water,” said Ghulam Sakhi, who lives near the citadel.
“We have warned the government about the dire condition of the citadel but no one visited,” Sakhi said.
Mahbubullah Rahmani, acting director of culture and information in Ghazni, said heavy rain and recent fighting had contributed to the tower’s collapse but said the government was working on a plan to protect the site from complete destruction.
He said a German archaeologist had worked at the site as recently as 2013.
Ghazni, a strategically vital center on the main highway between Kabul and southern Afghanistan and two hour drive from the capital, is home to a range of cultural and archaeological artefacts, some of which date back to pre-Islamic period.
The province and its cultural heritage was officially declared as Asian Capital of Islamic Culture in 2013 by the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, a Morocco-based body created in 1981, supported by UNESCO.
The collapse of the tower in Ghazni follows concern over the condition of the 900-year-old Minaret of Jam, in Ghor, which has been on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Properties in Danger since 2002.
The Taliban during their austere regime from 1996-2001, before they were toppled by the US and coalition force in late 2001, blew up two giant Buddha statues in central Bamiyan province, calling them idols.