Hiding in Plain Sight
Date(s) - 10/25/2018
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
UC Irvine Campus, Humanities Gatewa
Omar Mohammed is the Iraqi historian and citizen journalist behind Mosul Eye, a news blog that reported on conditions in Islamic State-occupied Mosul. In one of most courageous and daring acts of historical documentation since World War II, during the worst and most dangerous period of ISIS rule in its “capital,” Mohammed disguised himself and wandered the streets of his city to post updates on life in Mosul on Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress. The blog quickly became one of few reliable sources on life in Occupied Mosul, helping journalists and scholars understand the atrocities committed by ISIS fighters and the controversial process of retaking the city by the Iraqi government. The blog was targeted by the Islamic State’s security apparatus for its fearless and honest reporting, so Mohammed continued to hide his identity out of concern for his safety until he was forced to flee Mosul in 2015.
UCI historian Mark LeVine, who himself did research in Iraqi during some of the worst periods of the US Occupation and civil war, will open a conversation with Omar about Iraq since 2003, the unique, mundane and murderous aspects of ISIS rule, the dangers and necessity of doing history in wartime, and the role of the historian in an era of unprecedented and unreliable potential sources for news and information. Audience members will be encouraged to join the presentation, which will be followed by a reception.
Co-sponsored by the Global Middle East Studies Program, the History Department, Literary Journalism, Global Peace and Conflict Studies and International Studies.