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Old 02-24-2009   #1
milnews.ca
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Default RING-TONE-INT in Kirkuk

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Kirkuk Ringtones Reflect Rivalries
They identify ethnic and religious affiliations in bitterly contested city.
Samah Samad, Institute for War & Peace Reporting, ICR No. 284, 20 Feb 09
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Bus passengers in Kirkuk fire angry glances at Ahmed Ali as he takes a call on his mobile phone.

The young man soon realises why: the Kurdish song that serves as his ringtone singles him out as an ethnic Kurd on a bus used by many Arabs and Turkomans.

“Immediately after that, I changed my ringtone to the default one provided by the phone’s manufacturers,” said Ahmed Ali, who did not give his real name for security reasons.

In Iraq’s most diverse and disputed province, mobile phone ringtones play a big part in the politics of identity. Kirkuk contains most of Iraq’s many religious and ethnic groups, and has been described as everything from a colourful bouquet of flowers to a powderkeg....
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