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Rivers of Babylon

The western media treated the Iraqi Asian Cup football victory as a superficial moment of euphoria in a country on its way to break-up. But it may be more than that

By Nibras Kazimi   September 2007

Unity through football

“I will take the cup to Thawra City—I mean Sadr City; I will take it to Kadhimiya, to Adhamiya, to Dora; I will take it to Basra, to the north, to Mosul. Even if they kill me, I am a willing sacrifice for my people.” So said 24-year-old Younis Mahmoud, captain of Iraq’s national football team, to Iraq’s official television station Al-Iraqiya during a snap interview in Dubai, following Iraq’s victory in the Asian Cup in late July. Mahmoud is a Sunni Arab who was born in the oil-rich town of Dibis, northeast of Kirkuk. He…

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