War news coverage could lead a person to assume that young Iraqi men spend most of their time causing trouble. Lost in the dramatic footage of death and destruction emanating from Baghdad is a faint memory of "normal" Iraqi life--a place where ordinary people go to work, school, shopping, or out with friends, even despite the constant danger.
A new web-based documentary series, "Hometown Baghdad," taps into that world, little-known or understood by those whose main exposure to Iraq comes from the TV or newspaper. The series demonstrates that life does indeed go on in Baghdad, and that many young Iraqi men choose only to bomb things on the screen of a video game.
The series follows three main subjects: Adel, a 23-year-old aspiring rock musician living in a very dangerous Baghdad neighborhood, Ausama, a 20-year-old student at the University of Baghdad Medical School, and Saif, a 24-year-old recent graduate of the University of Baghdad Dentistry School.
Recently, Adel took a hidden camera through his neighborhood, and Saif showed how his house has become a cage. Other previous episodes have followed Ausama during his final exam week, Saif as he goes on dates with his girlfriend, and Adel as he interviews his little brothers about a killing they witnessed on their way home from school, or talking about anger, pain, death, and madness.