We at Grasswire are fascinated by how often tissues are pictured in high-level meetings in the Middle East, particularly those in Iraqi Kurdistan.
US envoy to the anti-ISIS coalition, Brett McGurk, features in many of the sightings.
Analysts have variously suggested the tissues may be for basic hygiene, due to the local climate, or are simply there as a matter of general hospitality.
Industry analysis further indicates the regional market has growth potential.
None of these explanations fully accounts for the occurrence of tissues at these events or the varied appearances and grandeur of their containers. The ratios of tissues to dignitaries in the vast majority of these photos is higher than what would be expected for “casual” use (an occasional blown nose). With 100 to 200 tissues typically per box, they appear over and over again in large numbers.
This post serves as a record of our findings.