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How a soccer tournament in Iraq became a celebration of Arab unity

By Mustafa Salim

18 Jan 2023 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

Today marks the final of the 25th Arabian Gulf Cup soccer tournament. The cup has created a sense of Arab unity, with locals opening up their homes. The Washington Post covers this heartwarming story.

The lights at Basra International Stadium went down. Then the show began.

Sinbad, the legendary sailor from “The Arabian Nights,” rose from the darkness to greet the crowd. Lights and lasers danced across the stadium. For an hour, Iraqi musicians, dancers and actors took fans on a journey through thousands of years of Iraqi history. “We are a beacon to the world,” crooned popular singer Hussam Alrassam.

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