17 shots fired at vehicle

Fakhri Karim talks about attempt on his life

BAGHDAD — Fakhri Karim, leader of Al-Mada Publishing House, recently emerged unscathed from an assassination attempt, an event he cryptically describes as “a message in an environment rife with communication.” Karim, who has steered clear of personal political ambitions, underscored his retreat from writing in the past two years, asserting, “I have expressed all that needed to be said.”

During a conversation with Majid Hamid on Al Arabiya’s Al Hadath, Karim discussed the assault. He reported receiving no threats, neither verbal nor written, compelling him to abandon Baghdad. Nonetheless, he recognized the underlying tensions in the current political landscape.

“The assault, which involved 17 shots fired at my vehicle, was inadvertently foiled—either by luck or destiny—when a diplomat’s protective convoy intervened, shielding me from the gunmen. This event represents the tenth assassination attempt against me,” he disclosed.

Karim, who has chosen to live without personal security, was attacked en route from a book fair near a bridge in the Qadisiyah district, an area noted for its security. A pickup truck abruptly obstructed his path and commenced firing, aiming to eliminate Karim from the Iraqi narrative.

“Over the past few years, I have chosen not to write—not due to inability or fear, but by choice, believing I have conveyed all my thoughts on the situation. Those acquainted with Al-Mada newspaper, its affiliated channel, or radio station, would understand this, negating any personal ambition,” he further elaborated.

Karim revealed, “My dear friend Masoud Barzani nominated me for the Iraqi presidency, which I declined,” indicating his indifference towards political office and critiquing the political framework as antiquated.

His aversion to armored vehicles, even during his tenure with the late Jalal Talabani, stems from a personal preference for subtlety and a desire to bolster public morale by showcasing normalcy.

Karim highlighted the October 2019 youth protests, where hundreds were killed challenging the ‘culture of fear,’ as a pivotal moment.

He suggested that the masterminds behind the assassination attempts are opposed to the semblance of stability and reassurance Prime Minister Sudani is striving to promote, aiming instead to quash this glimmer of hope and undermine the resolve of those working to move beyond such discourse.

Iraqi politician, publisher survives assassination attempt in Baghdad

Iraqi politician, publisher survives assassination attempt in Baghdad