She lived through the worst of Baghdad's wartime violence. But leaving her family for freshman year at the American University in Iraq has tested Amal Selman in unexpected ways.
A 16-year-old protester was among the first to be killed in democracy protests earlier this year against the corruption and authoritarianism that pervade Kurdish politics.
The US has long championed semi-autonomous Kurdistan as a democratic model for the rest of Iraq and the Middle East. But Kurdish leaders have violently shut down dissenters.
The takeaway for Iraq's leaders: the authoritarian tactics seem to be working.
As US-Iraqi relations enter a new phase, America's top brass convened at Camp Victory to mark the transfer of command from Gen. Ray Odierno to Lt. Gen. Lloyd Austin III.
Ahead of the March 7 Iraq election, tensions between Arabs and Kurds are soaring after an incident involving Kurdish troops and forces loyal to the Arab governor of Ninevah. Kurdish President Massoud Barzani told the Monitor that a warrant will soon be issued for the governor's arrest on a kidnapping charge.
Iraq’s Christians have been targeted for kidnapping and forced to flee their homes. One advocate says that in a generation, Christians could be gone from the land they’ve lived in for 2,000 years.
The attacks, including a double suicide bombing near Mosul on Thursday, are aimed at disrupting January elections, says Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh in an interview.