KERBALA, Iraq (Reuters) – A small group of Iraqis including a soldier who fought in the civil war have turned to model making to deal with their memories of conflict and maintain touch with the military phase of their lives.
It’s an unusual hobby but former soldier Radhwan al-Hassnawi, 28, says he wants to pay tribute to his comrades through the models, which are called dioramas.
“After leaving the army, I tried to find a way to stay in the spirit of the military life and I found out on the internet, and on Facebook in particular, that this hobby is common in Europe, but I did not expect that it is known in Iraq,” said al-Hassnawi, who served in Iraq’s army between 2007 and 2011.
His dioramas depict military scenes from the war that began in 2003 when a coalition led by the United States invaded to topple Saddam Hussein. It drew in Sunni and Shia militias and al Qaeda and became a sectarian and political struggle in which hundreds of thousands died and all sides committed atrocities.
But the scenes in the dioramas are not necessarily intense or…