When a US-led coalition invaded Iraq and overthrew the Saddam Hussein regime 20 years ago, many Iraqis hoped that a more democratic, prosperous future lay ahead.
But in reality, their lives have been marred by different forms of violent conflict, fuelled by a corrupt system through which a new class of leaders gutted state finances and enriched themselves at the expense of the people.
Today, almost two-thirds of the Iraqi population are under 25 and have no memory of life under Saddam Hussein. For many, the legacy of the war is only a failed political system that kills every day by means of corruption and neglect.
At this roundtable, part of the Iraq Initiative, Chatham House welcomes journalist and author Ghaith Abdul-Ahad to discuss his book on this subject, called A Stranger in Your Own City: Travels in the Middle East’s Long War, alongside a panel of experts who will explore the profound legacy of the war for the Iraqi people.
This marks the first in a series of Chatham House Iraq Initiative events and analysis reflecting on the legacy of the invasion and occupation for Iraq, the Middle East and the West.