Barbers and Musicians Bring Fresh Vibes to Anti-government Protests in Baghdad

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Anti-government protesters pictured in Baghdad last month.
Anti-government protesters pictured in Baghdad last month. Credit: Khalid Mohammed,AP

Different groups of Iraqi artists and craftsmen are using their skills to boost the mood in a main protest site in the heart of the capital Baghdad.

Protesters are getting a makeover at the hands of barbers camping at Tahrir Square while members of a band are regaling them with local music.

Dancing to the tunes, protesters are showing rare signs of unity and solidarity, moving past ethnic and sectarian divisions that tore the country's national fabric for decades.

Barber Ali Jameel, who is offering his services for free, says their initiative symbolises their contribution to the fight against what he called "corrupt officials".

Protesters have been congregating in the capital's central Tahrir Square for weeks, demanding the fall of the political elite in the biggest wave of mass demonstrations since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

They have been comparatively peaceful by day, becoming more violent after dark as police use tear gas and rubber bullets to battle self-proclaimed "revolutionary" youths. More than 250 people were killed in October.

On Saturday, protesters blocked roads leading to a major port in the capital.

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