At a time when so many people are being torn apart, we wanted to mark the launch of our new website with an issue that focuses on love.

When the pandemic broke out, and people retreated into their homes, we reached out to you through online parties, discussions and concerts, as a way to say we love you, and to remind you, and each other, that we’re here. This issue feels like a continuation of that long embrace, a second part to a gift of love that we all deserve.

This year will mark twenty years since we launched this platform. Born in the kitchen of a diasporic family home, shakomako dot net has always been a project driven by love. A love for that Baghdadi accent that moulds your tongue or that special Maslawi dish that you crave the most, a Basrawi song that knows the inner alleys of your mind, or maybe a cup of chai in Hawler that you can still taste, this platform is an ode to the countless love stories that people have for everything Iraqi.

No matter where we live, this issue will aim to further explore the different ways that love speaks Iraqi, whether it is in the alleyways and expansive avenues of Baghdad, the bustling metropolises of cities like Stockholm or Sydney or the virtual spaces sculpted out by Iraqi minds in the ether. 

In putting this issue together, we worked with content creators from around the world to come up with a series of stories and reflections on how love intersects with the different ways Iraq manifests itself. An exciting addition has been merch, specifically inspired by this theme, hoping that you will wear and share, with all funds received going to support this fiercely independent magazine and all the tireless people that have put countless hours to keep it alive.

We love you. editorial team

January 2021