5th Anniversary Slideshow
City of War
License this image
Born in Baghdad in 1975, Ghaith studied architecture at Baghdad University. A deserter from Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi army, Ghaith lived underground in Baghdad for six years, changing his residence every few months to avoid detection and arrest.
He began making street photography in 2001 and was determined to document conditions in Baghdad during the war. Arousing suspicion, Ghaith was arrested three days before the end of the war. Though he managed to escape by bribing his guards, he lost his cameras and all his film. The day after the fall of Baghdad, Ghaith satisfied an aching curiosity by walking into one of Saddam’s palaces, talking his way past American guards by claiming to be a foreign journalist.
Soon after, Ghaith began writing for The Guardian and The Washington Post. His photographs have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, The Times (London), Stern, Newsweek, Time and others. He has deftly managed to photograph and write from the front lines of both the Sunni and Shia insurgency movements.
Ghaith was one of the last journalists to work in insurgent-held Fallujah before the American assault on that city in April 2004. He also worked behind Mehdi militia frontlines during the American assault on Najaf in August of the same year, as well as covering several Iraqi elections and investigating jihadis networks in Syria and Jordan.
Ghaith has continued his work photographing for international publications and writing for The Guardian. He is currently based in Lebanon and travels throughout the Middle East. He has been shortlisted twice as the Foreign Reporter of the Year by the British Press Association.
In 2005, his pictures from the Iraqi insurgency – including a rocket attack by an American gunship on Baghdad's Haifa Street that killed several people around him – were published in the book "Unembedded: Four Independent Journalists on the War in Iraq."
All contents © copyright 1999-2011 Getty Images, Inc. All rights reserved.
back to main view