Optimism in Iraq fuels revived interest in classic cars

first_imgBAGHDAD – When Iraqi forces drove Islamic State militants out of eastern Mosul a year ago, Nashwan Shakir Mahmoud raced back to his home, hoping that his red and white 1955 Chevrolet coupe had survived three years of war and upheaval.When he saw that it had only suffered light damage from a mortar shell that landed nearby, he was overjoyed. “I had an unspeakable feeling, I sighed in relief when saw it,” he said.He spent 10 days carrying out his own repairs and then drove it all the way back to Baghdad, a 13-hour journey that would have taken four in a modern car. “When I reached Baghdad,” he said, “people were stopping me in the streets to take pictures and videos. It was like a dream to me and to the people.”The 49-year-old father of six is part of a small community of vintage and classic car aficionados who are hoping to rekindle their passion now that the war against the Islamic State group is over. For many, the cars remind them of happier times in Iraq, before decades of war and chaos, which they hope are finally coming to an end.“These cars have something spiritual that lets you feel the happiness of the good old days,” said Mahmoud, who also owns a 1964 GMC pickup. The pickup is in a mechanic’s garage in Mosul’s Old City, in an unsecured area cordoned off by security forces.Mahmoud had two other classic cars — a 1957 Dodge Coronet and a 1967 Dodge pickup — but U.S. soldiers towed them away in 2006 after warning him against parking them on the street without getting them repaired, saying militants could use them to conceal roadside bombs. He said he cried when they were taken away.Car enthusiasts and collectors, even car clubs in various countries, make a distinction based on a model’s age, with “vintage” cars considered to be those from the period of 1919 to 1930. Models after that are usually classified as “classic” cars and anything over 50 years of age is called “antique.”Iraq’s vintage and classic cars date back to the period between the discovery of oil in the 1920s and the booming 1970s, when the country was awash in petroleum wealth and boasted some of the finest roads in the region.Much of that infrastructure was destroyed in the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s and the 1990 Gulf War. The sanctions in the 1990s made it difficult to secure spare parts. In the chaotic years after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, many collectors kept their cars hidden or locked up, while the daily bombings, and the blast walls and barbed wire that sprouted across Baghdad and other cities, took the pleasure out of driving.Now, many of those barriers have come down, and some collectors feel more comfortable showing off their treasures.Saad al-Nuaimi, 65, has parked six classic models in front of his coffee shop in Baghdad’s northern Azamiyah neighbourhood, including green and blue 1954 Chevrolet Bel Airs and two Townson cars from mid 1960s. Three others, including a 1952 Chevrolet and a 1959 Townson, are being repaired.“When you feel secure, you have the guts to get money out of your pocket to enjoy such beauties,” he said.Many Iraqis from war-battered areas are desperate to sell old cars, and as Iraqi forces have driven IS back over the past three years, more and more models have appeared on the market, al-Nuaimi said. His latest acquisition was a badly damaged maroon 1952 Chevrolet from Salahuddin province, where IS was driven out in 2015.He restores the cars himself, ordering spare parts from Europe and the United States.The Iraqi government keeps its own trove of vintage and classic cars, including a rare 1904 Jeep Levon and luxury models used by the Hashemite monarchy from 1921 until 1958, including a 1936 Mercedes-Benz that was a gift from Adolf Hitler. Others belonged to Uday, the notoriously brutal playboy son of Saddam Hussein.Some have had their body work restored but do not have working engines, while others are in very poor condition.The collection is stored in a garage for safe-keeping and is only rarely exhibited to the public. Adil al-Ardawi, the vintage and classic car expert in charge of the royal collection, says at least 1,000 troops were assigned to protect the cars when they were used in a parade last year to mark the 100th anniversary of Baghdad’s al-Rashid Street.Ahmad Shukor, a 39-year-old engineer who runs a Facebook page devoted to documenting Iraq’s vintage and classic cars, says only around 100 remain nationwide. He says a third were in Mosul, and that many of them may have been damaged or destroyed.He’s now in the final stages of opening a showroom in the central city of Najaf. The owners of more than 60 cars have agreed to display them there when the showroom opens in the coming months.“We want to prove that Iraq is not done yet,” he said.___Follow Sinan Salaheddin on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sinansm .___This story was corrected to show the distinction car collectors make, with ‘vintage’ cars being those pre-dating 1930 while ‘classic’ cars are models after that period.last_img read more

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Netflix criticized for yanking Patriot Act episode in Saudi

first_imgDUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Netflix is facing criticism for pulling an episode from viewing in Saudi Arabia of American comedian Hasan Minhaj’s “Patriot Act” that criticized the kingdom’s crown prince.Minhaj used his second episode to lambast the prince over the killing of writer Jamal Khashoggi and the Saudi-led war in Yemen.The Financial Times first reported that Netflix yanked the episode from streaming in Saudi Arabia last week after Saudi officials informed the streaming service that its content violated cyber-crime laws in the kingdom.Rights group Amnesty International said Saudi Arabia’s censorship of Netflix is “further proof of a relentless crackdown on freedom of expression.”Netflix told the FT it strongly supports artistic freedom worldwide and only removed the episode after it received a legal request and to comply with local law.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Honouring women for their remarkable work

first_imgTo honour women for their accomplishments and leadership roles in various categories, Garnet and Gold organised ‘Women of Influence Award 2019’, at Amour Convention and Resorts, Gurugram. The event was held on the occasion of International Women’s Day.The evening began with lighting of lamps by Dr Rajshri Singh, IGP State Crime Branch, IGP Traffic and Highway Haryana, who was invited as the chief guest at the event. Following Ganesh Vandana, the awards were distributed for different categories. The event which was attended by delegates and bureaucrats of Gurugram also witnessed some cultural and artistic performance. Apart from Dr Rajshri, Bollywood Star Yashpal Sharma also graced the event with his presence along with his mother and wife. Anjali Gopalan, human rights and animal rights activist; Neeti Kaushik, Principal cum Director of Mount Olympus School; Narendra Bhaskar, Channel Promotion Head India News; Akash K Agrawal, renowned fashion designer; Tammanna Singh, MD Uber Lux; Sudhanshu Bahuguna, Music Expert; Dr Arjumand Zaidi, Human Right Activist; Veneet Gandhi, founder and CEO of Twinkcraft media and founder of Indian idol academy Delhi were also present with Dr Roma Kapoor, Senior Consultant Clinical Psychologist. Women who were awarded at the event included Aarti Kapur, Achla Bhardwaj,, Anu Yadav, Anusha Srinivasan Iyer, Deepti Dhoot, Devangi Dalal, Dipikaa Bhatia, Kirti Sachdeva, Manisha Yadava, Meenakshi M Singh, Mehak Gupta Grover, Monika Khanna, among others. An initiative by Jacqueline Jindal, Director of Garnet and Gold, celebrates sheer will and spirit of women who broke the barrier of inequality, patriarchy and stereotypes. It envisions not only to honor the women for their remarkable work but also inspire and motivate women across the nation to break out of the cocoon and fly.last_img read more

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2 held with 52 illegal firearms in Rohini

first_imgNew Delhi: Delhi Police Special Cell arrested two persons with 52 illegal firearms in Sector-15, Rohini, police said on Wednesday.Police identified the accused Amarikan (25) and Sheetal Singh (22) both from Badwani in Madhya Pradesh. The duo was arrested after a brief chase on March 31 in Sector-15, Rohini. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Sanjeev Kumar Yadav said that accused are indulged in manufacturing and supplying of illegal firearms for more than 10 years. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderAccused Amarikan disclosed that he himself used to send the consignments of illegal firearms to Delhi, UP, MP, Maharashtra. “Amarikan and Sheetal Singh have the expertise to prepare any weapon including sophisticated pistols. They sell these pistols in bulk. Pistols supplied by them in Delhi/NCR finally reaches to dreaded criminals/gangsters of Delhi and adjoining states,” said DCP Yadav. DCP further said that this is their ancestral profession, probably more than 80 years old, which they continued for want of livelihood. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsMost of the village families are indulged in this illegal trade of manufacturing and supplying of firearms in various parts of the country including Delhi. Police said that the Special Cell of Delhi Police is persistently after the notorious arms syndicates active in Delhi/NCR areas. In this crusade, the discreet surveillance transpired that illegal weapons are pumped into Delhi mainly from the areas of Khargaon, Dhar & Burhanpur in M.P and from Munger in Bihar. Concerted efforts made so far, yielded in busting several interstate firearm syndicates in recent past too.last_img read more

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St Stephens college warns teachers for criticising decision on admission panel

first_imgNew Delhi: Delhi University’s St Stephen’s College on Tuesday sent warning letters to three of its governing body members for condemning the inclusion of a member of the institution’s Supreme Council in the interview panel for selection of students. In a statement, the three members of the governing body had objected to the inclusion of a member of its Supreme Council in the interview panel, saying it is a violation of the college constitution.The three members –Nandita Narain of Department of Mathematics, NP Ashley of Department of English and Abhishek Singh of Department of Economics had condemned the “illegal and unacademic decision taken by the Principal”. “This could compromise the academic integrity of our admissions process,” they said while demanding its withdrawal. Also Read – Odd-Even: CM seeks transport dept’s views on exemption to women, two wheelers, CNG vehiclesThe warning letters sent to the three members said they (the trio) issued “false and irresponsible comments to the media.” In the warning letters issued by college principal Professor John Varghese, the teachers have been “advised not to repeat such irresponsible and unbecoming behaviour in future,” failing which college will take appropriate action against them. “The said guidelines were duly reported in the Governing Body held on March 14, 2019 in the presence of the teachers representatives,” the letter issued to the teachers read. Also Read – More good air days in Delhi due to Centre’s steps: Javadekar”In the light of the above, I am shocked to see that you deliberately chose to ignore the facts and your press release is a complete concoction, factually and legally incorrect, and therefore it is against the code of professional ethics and the ethos of this institution,” the letter read. The letter also accused the teachers of falsely claiming that the decision was undertaken by the principal. The decision, the letter claimed, was of the Supreme Council, “which has the sole power to decide on the admission policy as the College is a Christian minority institution.” Meanwhile, the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) accused St. Stephen’s college principal of its arbitrary and vindictive conduct to silence criticism of wholly undesirable non-academic intrusion in selection of candidates for admission to the college. “The college administration has threatened further action if they persisted with expressing their critical views,” the DUTA said. “The decision of including Fathers from Church ( Members of Supreme counsel) to admission committee is arbitrary and condemnable. This would weaken the secular fabric of the university. This is not only against the constitution of the college but also against the principles laid down in India’s constitution,” said, Sidharth Yadav, state secretary, ABVP Delhi. He also said that the if the decision is not withdrawn, the ABVP would be forced to mobilise large student community to raise voice against this autocratic decision.last_img read more

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Commentary Ohio State mens basketballs affinity for defense keeping Final Four dreams

Hey, you! Yes, you, right there, Joe/Jane Buckeye fan. You go here because of the football team, right? I know, I know, we all do. It’s OK. School is secondary. And, let me guess, since you go to Ohio State because of Buckeye football, you probably have a special affinity for defense. Brutal, violent, aggressive, stingy defense. Beautiful defense. And, let me surmise, you look at the basketball team, with its inconsistent offense and those four losses and think: “Hey, it’s only, like, eight months until Urban Meyer unleashes his freshly non-bowl banned OSU football team on the rest of the country.” Stop it right now. It’s not August yet. It’s basketball season. It’s Big Ten basketball season. And your Buckeyes are playing a brand of basketball I know you can appreciate. They’re playing basketball with a football mentality. They’re playing brutal, violent, aggressive, stingy defense. Beautiful defense. Football defense. Jared Sullinger is gone. William Buford is gone. The Buckeyes’ elite offensive abilities are gone too, and it’s showing. Against elite teams, OSU’s offense has sputtered for long stretches. The Buckeyes have made 3-point shooting look as difficult as solving a Rubik’s cube in less than 30 seconds (if only junior guard Aaron Craft could do the former as well as the latter) and they lack a go-to second scorer (Craft? Sophomore forward LaQuinton Ross? Junior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr.? Brutus Buckeye?) behind the offensive genius that is junior forward Deshaun Thomas. Where would OSU be without Thomas? Hint: somewhere losing a lot of games by 20.5 points. But guess what? It doesn’t matter that OSU is trying to set offensive basketball back to the peach basket days of Dr. James Naismith, the game’s creator. The team’s defense is good. Like, Final Four good. Don’t give up on them. Craft is and has been the NCAA’s preeminent perimeter defender since he stepped on campus in 2010. He smothers guards. His scalp list the last three years reads like a “Who’s Who” of college basketball: Trey Burke, Jordan Taylor, Dion Waiters, Scoop Jardine, Tyshawn Taylor, Brandon Knight, Seth Curry, Erving Walker and the list goes on. Point blank, he’s OSU redshirt sophomore cornerback Bradley Roby in sneakers. His competitors know by pregame they’re going to wear a Craft coat for the next 40 minutes. Craft’s partner-in-crime, sophomore guard Shannon Scott, averages a hair under two steals per game and plays passing lanes like a seasoned veteran. Smith Jr., is a hulking 6-foot-4 menace who can physically overpower smaller foes. Sophomore forward Sam Thompson is a weak-side shot-blocking terror with staggering athleticism and a 476-foot vertical leap (approximately). If someone manages to penetrate the lane against OSU’s guards, 6-foot-11 sophomore center Amir Williams lurks in the paint ready to send any shot all the way back to his hometown in Detroit. Any way you slice it, the Buckeyes’ top-20 scoring defense (out of 345 teams) gives them a chance to win any game, despite the offense’s struggles. Hmmm, actually that sounds familiar. Wait, are we sure Jim Tressel isn’t coaching basketball? Don’t write off this season just yet. Sure, the offense might not be Sweet 16 worthy (or outside of Thomas, even RPAC worthy) but the defense is Final Four caliber. It might not be pretty, but the basketball Buckeyes are taking a page out of Woody Hayes’ playbook and embracing a new, defense-first identity. As football fans, it shouldn’t be hard for us to do the same. read more

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Pogba speaks on Mourinho rows

first_imgThere were many speculations regarding Mourinho and Pogba’s relationship at a certain point of time a while back, and most of them claimed it had fallen off and they are not really having normal contact.However, after that Mourinho was the first to deny such events. Now, Pogba has joined him as he admitted he has rows with his manager, but they are for good.Pogba has been inconsistent for the most of the season, which was rumoured to be the reason for his problems with the coach, beside him not being happy with instructions and not following them.“People want to hear about the manager and the player. You see some images of me talking with the coach,” Pogba said, according to the Mirror.harry maguire, manchester UnitedMaguire says United need to build on today’s win George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Harry Maguire wants his United teammates to build on the victory over Leicester City.During the summer, Harry Maguire was referred to as the ultimate…“We can disagree but he is still the manager and I am the player.”“Sometimes I see things he doesn’t and sometime he sees things I can’t. But it doesn’t mean anything is bad.”“It’s good. He is the coach. He decides and I accept and I respond on the pitch,” Pogba added.last_img read more

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Former Man Utd coach reveals what sets Ronaldo apart from the

first_imgRené Meulensteen played a big role in making Cristiano Ronaldo the player he is today, but the former Manchester United coach believes that what ultimately sets the star apart from the other world-class players is his work ethicThe Dutchman worked closely with Ronaldo during his formative years at United and especially in the 2007/08 season, when the Portuguese scored an incredible 42 goals and officially made himself the star he is currently today.However, Meulensteen believes that Ronaldo is the only person that can really take full credit for his achievements and for being able to maintain his unbelievable form throughout the years.“In the season we won the Champions League, Ronaldo was suspended for three games after he was sent off against Portsmouth, so I stayed behind at training to work with him,” said the 54-year-old, according to PlanetFootball.“I knew exactly what he wanted, because he told me – to become the best player on the planet.“There was nothing wrong with his work ethic or his skills, but when it came to the mental side, he was being kicked left, right and centre during games, which annoyed him.harry maguire, manchester UnitedMaguire says United need to build on today’s win George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Harry Maguire wants his United teammates to build on the victory over Leicester City.During the summer, Harry Maguire was referred to as the ultimate…“I told him that players only kicked him because they had no other way of stopping him and even that didn’t work sometimes.“I taught him what he needed to do to improve and he took it all on board.“No matter what anybody says about him, I have never seen a more devoted professional footballer than Ronaldo.”The former Fulham manager believes that his rivalry with Lionel Messi has played a part in his continued high standards over the years and cited how Ronaldo has managed to achieve this, where other greats have failed.“The key is to keep performing to the level he has maintained, which has also happened because of the constant competition he has with Messi,” he said.“There were world-class players such as Ronaldinho and Kaka, but they never maintained it – they had the rise, but then there was the demise.”last_img read more

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Gattuso refuses to rule out AC Milan return for Ibrahimovic

first_imgAC Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso won’t refuse to rule out re-signing birthday boy and old teammate Zlatan IbrahimovicThe one and only is celebrating his 37th birthday today and has been linked with a surprise return to Milan on a winter loan deal in January from LA Galaxy.Speaking ahead of Milan’s Europa League game with Olympiakos, Gattuso remained silent of the prospect of bringing back the former Milan star for a second spell with the club.“Today is his birthday, so I wish him many happy returns,” said Gattuso on Football-Italia.Rick Karsdorp, Roma, Serie AKarsdorp reveals he had too much stress at Roma Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 The Dutch defender has been with the Gialorrossi since 2017, but he has not enjoyed his time in the Italian Lega Serie A.“I’ll only speak about the players I have available, ask Maldini, Leonardo and [Paolo] Scaroni. Today I just want to wish Ibra a happy birthday and wish him all the best.”“It’s not easy to return after the injury he had, so I wish him all the best on his 37th birthday. [Gonzalo] Higuain can be as devastating as Ibra, he has less physicality but he brings us a lot of quality.“In terms of character it’s a lot more stressful to train with Ibra, Zlatan raises the tension. Pipita, on the other hand, is always willing to make his teammates smile.”Ex-Milan midfielder Urby Emanuelson revealed that Ibrahimovic once dumped Gattuso into a trashcan during an argument in the changing rooms.last_img read more

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Reus Dortmund passed the test of manhood

first_imgBorussia Dortmund captain Marco Reus insists they were made to suffer in “brutal” fashion against Atletico Madrid, despite winning 4-0 on WednesdayThe Bundesliga leaders handed Atletico a shock 4-0 thrashing at Signal Iduna Park in Group A of the Champions League.Goals from Axel Witsel, Raphael Guerreiro (twice) and Jadon Sancho gave Dortmund a great win.But Reus insists that the scoreline does not reflect on the “brutal evening” their Spanish visitors gave them.Jadon SanchoMerson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.“It’s sensational! We had to suffer a lot, especially in the second half. Atletico really turned up the tempo. But we had the ball more from the 60th minute onwards,” Reus told Sport1.“Atletico had a lot of respect for us. It was a brutal evening for us. We passed the test of manhood, not just because of the result, but because of the way we got it. We knew we had to suffer. I’m extremely happy with the team.”Dortmund now leads Group A with a three-point advantage over Atletico, who can take their revenge in the return fixture on November 6 at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano.last_img read more

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