Iraq: Baghdad – Tahrir Square & Freedom Monument

Tahrir Square aka Liberation Square is the most famous square in Baghdad and its main monument, Nasb al-Hurriya aka Freedom Monument is equally iconic. The monument was built in 1959-61 as the celebration of the Iraqi independence. The monument was quite symbolic – it includes bas-relief figures describing moments of the Iraqi fight for independence while alluding to Babylonian and Assyrian heritage and the bas-relief artform. What’s more, the figures actually are intended to be read like a poem in Arabic, right to left, with historic events before the Iraqi revolution and the harmony of the future (the latter still remains a dream). Tahrir square is also the place where the massive deadly demonstrations took place in 2019, and more recently after the October 2021 elections. The entire square is packed with military and police, there are literally more of them then people. Hence we were quite limited in what we could photograph.