Alive in Baghdad employs Iraqi journalists to produce video packages each week about a variety of topics on daily life in Iraq. Through the work of a team of Americans and Iraqi correspondents on the ground, Alive in Baghdad shows the conflict through the voices of Iraqis. Alive in Baghdad brings testimonies from individual Iraqis, footage of daily life in Iraq, and short news segments from Iraq to you.
In 2005 Brian Conley travelled to the Middle East for two months and spent three weeks in Baghdad. After a year of preparation for the trip, learning Arabic, and studying the history and culture of Iraq, he went to Baghdad to meet Iraqis. Initially Alive in Baghdad chronicled the voices of Iraqis, in order to provide a more intimate picture of Iraqi life.
After a second trip to the Middle East in the summer of 2006, Alive in Baghdad provided video cameras, microphones, tapestock, and training to Iraqis living in Baghdad. Now these Iraqis are producing a weekly news program from Baghdad, on topics ranging from protecting their families from death squads, to what it is like to be an Iraqi Police officer. These Iraqis are Omar Abdullah and Isam Rasheed working full-time, Qasem Al-Dulaimi producing some video and a regular text blog, as well as a number of other Iraqis collaborating on a currently ad-hoc basis.
2007 was a banner year for Alive in Baghdad. We licensed 5 episodes of Alive in Baghdad to SkyNews, and co-produced a documentary with BBC NewsNight. The money from these two productions enabled us to raise the funds to stabilize our organization for much of 2007, and hire new staff to expand Alive in Baghdad’s coverage. Brian Conley took a third trip to the Middle East, traveling to Damascus in the Spring, with the goal of locating and hiring new staff with experience as journalists covering the conflict in Iraq.
After this trip we were lucky to find Hayder Fahad, Nabeel Kamal, and Basheer Rasheed. Each had his own particular experience covering the conflict, working for many different Arabic news outlets based in Iraq and elsewhere. With their help we were able to expand our access to Sadr City, Hurriya, and many other parts of Baghdad, as well as a number of stories from the south of Iraq.