Sunday, October 05, 2008

Gentleman Hameed Speaks of Iraqi Freedom and a Famous Playright

With so much kerfuffle going on in Canada these past few months over what leftards view as the Harper government's attempt to censor freedom of expression, here's a good exchange between my friend Hameed and another commenter Kafir, taken from the comments at Iraq the Model. It is about the men and women of letters in the Arab world and about freedom in Iraq. (I've corrected some typos and spelling errors for clarity.)

Hameed begins by telling a story that took place in his brother's house:
"My Brother's House in Baghdad was entered into by the American Army Patrol and was inspected for security reasons.
"My nephew the Actor Najim Al Rubaie has asked the interpreter,' Are you an Iraqi, he told him yes! Then he said, if you are an Iraqi you should know who I am. After recognising him, he was surprised he was living at a simple house, so he took off his head gear and started hugging him and then turned round and explained to the American Officers and men who he was. They then started shaking hands with him and were very pleased that they have met with a person of humble origin, modest and unassuming, who is a well known Iraqi patriot. Then they started taking photographs together at our house and went out.

Few days later, the same Captain Hanks came into our house and was allowed in and sat in the front room and waited for my nephew to get home, and when they (arrived?) he asked him what is up this time. The Captain said, he found a new friend and wanted to drop by and say, Hi? Again more commemorative Photos were taken , and they left."
"The Play - Jeeb Al Malik Jeebah' based on Jeeb Al Ka's Jeebah, the football chant last, when Iraq won the football cup,- which has critical acclaims in which he acts, has been published in both English and Arabic world wide.

It shows that the people of Iraq do indeed enjoy and have freedom of expression, writings and freedom of thoughts, unlike before 2003, and the rest of the Islamic and Arab world around them, whom their writers, artists, musicians, and fine art performers and actors and actresses cannot perform plays without the approvals of the Censors and the Government.

It shows also Iraq is free and democratic without any reasonable doubt, and has a written Constitution regulating the behaviours of its elected Rulers the Executive Branch- who will have to be re-elected after the people lend them their positions for a limited period of time."
To which Kafir responds:
"Hameed, Won't it be a hoot the day that other Arabs are visiting Iraq just so they can see uncensored plays and Arab and Muslim theatrical troupes come to Baghdad so their directors can perform the plays they want without worrying about someone (read Muttawa) looking over their shoulder.

You know, the security situation is stable enough that Iraqi theater owners should be contacting famous Arab playwrights offering them just that."
Hameed replies:
"It is already happening. The Arab writers - including women- from Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Syria, and after this weekend, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon, are already sending articles to the Iraqi Internet papers for publishing, without censorship.

As for the Iraqi writers, they are having a field day. I wish you could read Arabic. A current writer has an article about our PM whether he is fit or able to challenge the future tough events. Oh! he is not arrested or gagged either, and he never will be.

Another writer today had a go at the religious leaders and how they are the ones who are the Heathens, as they work through bribes, influence peddling and being do- gooders, whilst in fact they are lining their own pockets through corrupt practices.

The PM said he, did not want 'Haramiah' plural- at the Government entities. Haramy- singular-means a thief."
I wonder who pays these artists? Somehow I doubt the government does. Iraq only recently emerged from the horror of state control over thought and creative expression. I'll have to ask Hameed.


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