3 Apr 2024

When sport trumped politics in the middle east

From Afternoons, 3:10 pm on 3 April 2024

When the final whistle blew on the 2007 Asian Cup, commentators declared "the team without hope has brought joy to its fractured nation. Football succeeds where politics has failed." The Iraqi football team, made up of Sunni, Shia and Kurdish players, had defeated Saudi Arabia. It was a moment of unity in a fractured country following the U.S invasion and removal of Saddam Hussein. Photojournalist Lucian Read was embedded with the US Marines during the war. He had seen Iraq suffer so many losses and felt compelled to tell the story of the win. His new documentary is called Lions of Mesopotamia.

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