Unembedded

Independent Photojournalists in Iraq

SADR CITY, BAGHDAD, AUGUST 7, 2004

A young boy watches his relatives repair a rocket-propelled grenade launcher in the home of a Mahdi Army fighter.

Photo by Thorne Anderson

RASHAD PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL, BAGHDAD, APRIL 15, 2004

Patients had few activities to occupy them. One was watching television, which included the Coalition Provisional Authority's daily live broadcasts and updates to the press. On this day, General Richard Myers, the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, was fielding questions on how he proposed to address the rising insurgency, especially Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army. Myers underplayed the threat of the insurgents. A few months later the hospital grounds would shake from nearby bombs, and mortars would land in its courtyard as coalition forces fought the Mahdi Army right outside the hospital gates.

Photo by Rita Leistner

NAJAF, AUGUST 27, 2004

Picking through the wreckage of battle in Najaf.

Photo by Thorne Anderson

SADR CITY, BAGHDAD, JULY 15, 2004

Women squeeze into a car on their way to a henna party, the Iraqi equivalent of a bridal shower, after they have had makeup applied in a salon. They ride behind tinted windows to protect their modesty.

Photo by Kael Alford

BAGHDAD, SEPTEMBER 12, 2004

A young Iraqi civilian lies dead in Haifa Street as a U.S. armored personnel carrier burns in the background. Twenty-two Iraqi civilians were killed and forty-eight injured when U.S. helicopters opened fire on crowds celebrating around the burning vehicle, which was disabled by an insurgent attack. No American soldiers were killed in the fighting.

Photo by Ghaith Abdul-Ahad

NAJAF, AUGUST 21, 2004

A father shows his hand to snipers as he carries his terrified child across the front line between U.S. forces and the Mahdi Army at the wrecked outskirts of the old city.

Photo by Kael Alford

Rashad Psychiatric Hospital, Baghdad, April 17, 2004

A young patient, newly arrived, from the southern Shiite town of Karbala, pleads to go home: "I don't belong here. Please don't make me spend the rest of my life here."

Photo by Rita Lesitner

NAJAF, AUGUST 27, 2004

A lone man walks through a devastated business and residential street west of the Imam Ali shrine. The street was a frontline fighting position for the American Army and Mahdi Army fighters during a nearly three-week battle that left much of the old city and surrounding neighborhoods in ruins. A peace deal, brokered by Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani with the militant cleric Muqtada al-Sadr,  allowed residents to emerge from refuge outside the city or hiding within it to survey their homes and businesses in the battleground.

Photo by Thorne Anderson

For more information on the Unembedded project, and to view additional images, visit www.unembedded.net

About This Story


  • Photographers: Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, Kael Alford, Thorne Anderson, Rita Leistner
  • Published Online: Jan 13, 2012
  • Print Publication Date: Jul 2008