An Iraqi man displays his tattoo in the capital Baghdad on December 9, 2019. / AFP / Haider HUSSEINI
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At 16, Maram is as old as the political system she and fellow Iraqi youth are railing against. But the spunky teen has her own way of protesting: inking tattoos. It reads "OCT 25," the date a second, continuous wave of demonstrations erupted in Baghdad and Iraq's Shiite-majority south. Inspired, friends started lining up to get their own commemorative body art, which Maram draws for free. Youth make up around 60 percent of Iraq's 40 million people -- and about 100 percent of Maram's clients. She comes to Tahrir every morning with her portable tattoo kit, usually with a list of appointments booked through her Instagram page, which has over 80,000 followers.At 23, Mushtaq Taleb from the southern port city of Basra already sports more than a half-dozen tattoos on his arms.His latest, on his right shoulder, is a compound image: the date of the uprising, a map of Iraq, and the Freedom Monument melting into two hands joined together in a stylized shape of a fist.
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