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Iraqis are drifting cars through the streets of Mosul to spite ISIS

Iraqis are drifting cars through the streets of Mosul to spite ISIS


BuzzFeed News follows the burning rubber

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BuzzFeed News reporter Mike Giglio has been reporting on ISIS from the Middle East for two years now, but he recently stumbled onto something he’d never seen before: a group of young Iraqis drifting cars in a liberated section of Mosul.

Mosul was seized by ISIS in 2014, but the Iraqi government has been trying to reclaim the city since late last fall with an effort that’s backed, in part, by the US government. As parts of the city stabilize, citizens are trying to return to a sense of normalcy. And for a select few of them, that means kitting out a BMW with performance gear and drifting it through the streets.

Giglio and his reporting companion, photographer Warzer Jaff, tagged along with the “Riot Gear” crew to film a recent drifting event. The video shows the car and crew, accompanied by an Iraqi Special Forces convoy, laying down some rubber. The fun lasts until ISIS drones start dropping bombs in the area. Really.

Mosul is “more than just shooting and wars.”

It’s a fantastic little bit of reporting, and a window into a part of Iraqi culture that we don’t normally see (or, frankly, don’t make the effort to see) in America. “We’re trying to take this talent, at least, and grab attention, and tell the people that there’s a lot happening in our country,” the event’s organizer tells Giglio in the video, “more than just shooting and wars.”

The Riot Gear crew has a few other videos on its YouTube channel. We can’t wait to see more.