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The New Arab

#Trending: Iraqis mock leaders for grieving over damaged sofa

Abadi has been battling politicians to secure the necessary votes for a technocrat cabinet [Twitter]

Date of publication: 4 May, 2016

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Pictures of people staring in dismay at sofas has become the meme of the moment in Iraq after the country's political elite were photographed lamenting over a damaged sofa.

Iraq's prime minister and speaker of house have become the laughingstock of the nation after images were published of them staring solemnly at a white couch that was littered with water bottles and stained with blood when hundreds of protesters stormed into parliament on Saturday.

In response, hundreds of Iraqis have posted images on social media of themselves similarly standing, and grieving over their own sofas, lampooning the politicians' concern over the sofa as Iraq continues to be embroiled with bloodshed and instability.

Soon after the image of the ruined elegant white sofa went viral, the dark humour began with social media users kicking off the Arabic-language hashtag #MySofaMyHonour - a jab at politicians who described the protests as "encroachment on the honour of the state".

Translation: "It seems as though a sofa is more important than all of us. Let the mocking continue."

Translation: "You haven't been shocked by the ruins of your people and country, the looting of our resources and cultural heritage and the denial of children of their right to live. But you have been shocked by a sofa."

Translation: "Guys! Forget about anything else and keep your sofas' safe. Sofas are more important than the destruction of Iraq."

One user photoshopped a picture of the Iraqi cellist, Karim Wasfi, playing a song for the sofa, the musician played his instrument last year at the site of a bombing in Baghdad.

Increasingly tense protests and a series of failed reform measures have paralysed Iraq's government as the country struggles to fight the Islamic state group [IS] and respond to an economic crisis sparked in part by a plunge in global oil prices.

Iraq's prime minister, Haidar al-Abadi, has been battling politicians to secure the necessary votes for a technocrat cabinet, his third failure to do so sparked the storming of parliament.

On Monday, at least 16 people were killed and dozens wounded when a car bomb detonated in southern Baghdad's Saidiya district, while a separate explosion shook a northern Baghdad town.

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