New Iraq Report Examines Racial Inequalities in Basra

Black Iraqis – the descendants of slaves captured in Africa under the Abbasid Caliphate – have lived in Iraq for centuries. Today, an estimated 1.5 million Black Iraqis call the country home, with populations centered in Basra and neighborhoods in Baghdad. Despite their long history in the country, Black Iraqis remain excluded from decision-making processes and underrepresented at the provincial and national levels of government.

Persistent discrimination that casts Black Iraqis as outsiders in their own country lies at the root of this inequality. In an effort to expose the injustices Black Iraqis suffer and support their fight for equality, the International Republican Institute (IRI) conducted qualitative research on the perceptions of Black Basrawi residents on their political and economic inclusion in Iraq.

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