"Talk to an Iraqi," Haider Hamza  

Social Justice Leadership Series
October 20, 2009

Haider Hamza, 24-year-old Iraqi journalist Haider Hamza lived through the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of his country with his family near Babylon, south of Baghdad. While there, he covered all the major events that took place in his country. He was arrested, shot, and held captive. Deciding it was better to live for a cause than to die for one, he left Iraq to live in the United States. After his arrival, he traveled through 35 states talking to people about the war in his country. To engage people in conversation, he set up a sidewalk mobile booth with a sign that said to passersby "Talk to an Iraqi."

In this SoJust lecture, Hamza shared his personal views and pictures of the war in his country.

The other side of the war:
An Iraqi journalist discusses the war in Iraq

by Tali Singer, The Justice

"During a time of war, said Haider Hamza, two industries survive: military and media. In 2003 when the United States invaded his home country, Iraq, Hamza chose the latter.

"...Hamza never became numb to death, but he said he almost grew to expect it. Children marked the one exception. No matter what, seeing killed or injured children always felt wrong. Each time he saw a child who was killed or injured was like the first time. More>

Hamza says "Talk to an Iraqi"
by Jon Otrowsky, The Brandeis Hoot

"Hamza spoke openly about his experience covering the war at such a young age and answered several questions from the audience, while he revealed graphic photographs containing mutilated bodies, nudity, and bloodshed.

"Becky Sniderman ‘10 was impressed with the power of Hamza's photographs. "It made me realize that a picture is extremely powerful. It makes you feel very connected to the people that are featured in the photos," she said.

"Hamza said while it was difficult to witness such suffering without helping those he photographed, he needed to maintain his identity as a journalist." More>