Between 2013 and 2017, falling oil prices, the rampaging Islamic State and other internecine conflicts shrunk Iraq’s GDP from $235 billion to $197 billion. In the same period, early marriage for young women and girls skyrocketed.
At the annual Arab League summit this week in Jordan, top agenda items include ongoing violent conflicts and terrorism threats. But many young Arabs say their leaders need to do much more to address jobs, education and the economy.
In 2011, when hundreds of thousands took to the streets and deposed Mubarak, many involved in the protests finally thought they would get real change. Six years later, many young people say the revolution brought nothing but dashed hopes.
President Donald Trump's executive order temporarily bans Iraqis from entering the US — including men like Ahmed Hameed, who served for three years as a translator for the US army. While vets apply political pressure on the administration and the Pentagon compiles a list of former Iraqi partners, Hameed waits, fearful and hopeful.
The controversial rule is part of austerity measures the government is imposing to lower its debt. That includes rationing baby formula, which costs this nation $51 million annually in scarce foreign currency reserves.