Iraq’s New Burst Of Creativity

“Out of the ashes of war and dictatorship, a new spirit of creativity and intellectual exchange is tentatively coming to life in scattered corners of the Iraqi capital, from the newly revived academy to the downtown alley that hosts a weekly book fair and informal literary gathering every Friday morning. The venues may be shabby and damaged, but the buzz of ideas is infectious and freewheeling, so much so that it’s easy to forget how recently any form of artistic or literary dissent in this country was grounds for instant imprisonment or worse.”