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Iraq, 2020

It’s in the outskirt of Bagdad, at the Mesopotamia Engines Club, that hundreds of Iraqis gather regularly to attend car drift competitions. If this sport was considered as underground still recently, forcing the races to be held on abandoned parking in an informal and unorganized way, the practice has seen itself being slowly officialised lately with its ministerial registration as a recognized sport in Iraq.

Car drift consists in intentionally losing control of one’s car by locking the four wheels of the vehicle, launched at full speed, in order to slide on the asphalt track. The racers gather not only to demonstrate their driving skills, but also to parade with their pimped cars while meeting fellow enthusiasts. From shiny new Chryslers to vintage BWMs, do not look upon the vessel but upon that which it contains. Every round on the race track makes the crowd go wild and leaves the car in a piteous state - burnt tires and overheated engines at least.

The Mesopotamia Engines Club was created in 2019 after a long awaited accreditation by the Iraqi ministry of youth and sports, recognizing the car drift as an official sport.

However, despite this victory, the racers are now hoping to take their passion a step further by being recognized by the International Automobile Association based in Monaco.

Beyond a simple hobby for the youth, this infatuation shows the real face of a youth eager to find a sense of normalcy in their daily lives, far from the conflicts and the deadly insecurity of the country’s capital.

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