When Conflict Arises, these Iraqis go to the Madeef

There are several examples that confirm the key role madeefs play in solving contentious issues. In 2013, the madeef of Sheikh Jabir Huwaish al-Kubaisi settled tribal disputes between the southern Shiite tribes and the Anbar and Kabissat Sunni tribes.

On Aug. 9, 2014, Basra Gov. Majid al-Nasrawi visited the Bani Malik tribe madeef in the district of Qurna to settle a dispute among the sons of this clan.

A tribal settlement reached in a madeef in June 2015 consisted of granting 51 women from a tribe in Basra to another tribe in a bid to put an end to a bloody conflict.

Also, an announcement made on Jan. 13, 2014, by tribal sheikhs and dignitaries who met in the madeef of Sheikh Ali Hatem al-Suleiman and called on the government to withdraw its military forces from the cities, confirmed that madeefs have turned into political platforms.

Due to the role madeefs now play, the Islamic State seized in May 2015 the madeef of tribal Sheikh Albu Alwan.

The growing role of madeefs in solving disputes in Iraqi society is the result of the weakness of the state, and there are people according to whom such a role is useful. Member of the tribal commission in the Iraqi parliament MP Mohammed Chihod told Al-Monitor that madeefs serve as “a way for citizens to preserve the positive habits and traditions of their ancestors. These include courage, generosity, pride and patriotism.”

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