Iraqi ex-soldiers make miniature models to stay in touch with army days

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.

Mini-diorama, showing Iraqi Army vehicle, is seen at home of its creator Radwan Nasser Abdel Amir, a former Iraqi soldier, 28, in Kerbala, Iraq, April 1, 2018. REUTERS/Abdullah Dhiaa Al-deen

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.

Radwan Nasser Abdel Amir, a former Iraqi soldier, 28, creates a mini-diorama to preserve war scenes in Mosul, in Kerbala, Iraq, April 1, 2018. Picture taken April 1, 2018. REUTERS/Abdullah Dhiaa Al-deen NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.

But the scenes in the dioramas are not necessarily intense or…

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