Alaa Mashzoub, renowned novelist & critic Alaa Mashzoub shot dead
In Iraq, a renowned novelist & critic Alaa Mashzoub (51) was shot dead by unknown assailants on 2nd of February in the city of Karbala. He was known as a bold writer who was not afraid to broach political and religious taboos in his writings. His research into the history of his hometown was published in two parts as ‘A Summary of Karbala Cultural History’. Mashzoub spoke out against sectarianism and militias. He was known as an outspoken writer who published in a variety of newspapers and wrote several novels, including The Chaos of the Nation (2014) Crime on Facebook (2015), and The Jewish Baths (2017). Mashzoub has 20 published books and has written extensively about Karbala’s history and culture. He has also written about Iraq’s once-thriving Jewish minority. He had been recognized by a number of filmmaking and writing prizes, including a Katara Prize for Arabic Fiction and a prize for his documentary film ‘Doors and Windows’. In recent times, Iraq has seen a number of political assassinations, particularly of outspoken activists. Karbala is about 100 kilometers southwest of Baghdad.