Not long ago they were battling against the Islamic State group -- now members of Iraqi paramilitary units have swapped the bullets for ballots as they compete in upcoming elections.
Five months after Iraq declared IS beaten, Najem is making a first foray into politics by standing for national parliamentary elections on May 12 in his southern home region Basra.
Running at the head of an alliance of local civil society figures and technocrats he says his experience in battle is perfect preparation for taking on Iraq's corrupt elite.
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