Friday, May 29, 2009

Ilham Al Madfai

Ilham Al Madfai was and still considered a legend in the history of Iraqi music. He is the one who brought western music (guitar, bass, drums, organ) to Iraq and transformed traditional Iraqi Maqam songs into something musically new no one has seen or done before, taking his first band, The Twisters, into fame in Iraqi music scene.

Ilham Al Madfa is till this day an influence to thousands, if not millions of Iraqis, young and old, men and women.

Below are songs of a performance live during 1970's of "foug al nakhal" and "chel chel" songs. I think Ilham Al Madfai is using Guitar Flanger Effects on the first song.

Listen to the dominant bass lines on the below songs, obvious influence of Jazz combined with chacha rhythm. Listen to how the Hammond organ is doing harmonies and melodies fills, simply amazing.

This song is one of my ever favorite... I love the chromatic bass there aligned with the warm voice singing the song.

According to the official website, Ilham Al Madfai is now recording his new album between Amman and Beirut.

Source of the videos are from IraqiBaghdad2009.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ammo Baba... In Pictures

He loved his country.
He loved his people.
He challenged everything in order to serve his country to the last breath
He became the symbol of success for Iraq and Iraqis
His ill health did not stop him
Harassment did not make him give up.
All Iraq is shedding tears for this legend.
God rest his soul.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sheik Al-Modaribeen, Ammo Baba


"He is the one who put the basics for football school in Iraq's modern history"


"He is called the father of all football trainers"


"He is the master of Iraqi football"


"There is no one like him, no one will be like him"


The above are just some of the words echoed by many people upon receiving the news of death of Ammo Baba today in Dhuk, north of Iraq

This post is a tribute to this great man. He will never be forgotten.

May God bless and rest his soul

Below is a report on Ammo Baba's school of football for children in Baghdad

Behjet Al-Jubouri

Big applause for Iraqi actor Behjet Al-Jubouri.

Many congratulations for receiving the award of the best supporting actor on his role in one of the most controversial Egyptian movies of last year, "Chief Omar Harb". Al-Jubouri plays the role of a reckless Iraqi man living in Egypt who didn't care much but for spending teh time getting drunk or gambling. I saw part of the movie last year, because of the bad quality of the copy I didn't finish it till end, but I loved the role Behjet Al-Jubouri played, he did it wonderfully.

It fills my heart with pride and joy seeing that depsite all the difficulties Iraqis have gone through in the past decades and until now, there are still beautiful, inventive, couragous people here and there shining like stars from the deep darkness of a glooming night.

Other Iraqi actors call him "the genies". Mr Al-Jubouri played different roles on theater, movies and television. People watched him as the cold-hearted villain; he also played the good man who fight for the good of his people; a lover and he is even known for his ability to combine drama and comedy in many roles.

Behjet Al-Jubouri is originally from Dhi Qar province. From a family who wanted their son to be a doctor or an engineer, instead he joined the institute of art where he got his diploma. During the 1970's his focus was mainly on the theater, especially after moving to the capital Baghdad. In addition, he directed a number of plays for school theater in his own town, Al Nasiriayh.

In mid 1980's Al-Jubouri took parts in movies, such as the historic epic-movie "Al Qadisiya" (tells the story of kicking out the Persians from Iraq by Muslim armies - one of my favorite movies), and "Another Day". His appearance on theater was magnificant, no Iraqi would forget his part in "a House and 5 Doors" or "Suberbans". Years later and after the decline in producing and making plays on theater in Iraq, the focus was turned towards the silver screen, through the 1990's. The prominent actor appeared on many TV series such as "The Whale and the Wall" and "Cradle of Fire".

I loved his role in "Wolves of the Night" series, where he played a gang leader who just got out of years in jail when he decide to make one last adventure before retirements.

Like many actors and artists from Iraq after the fall of the Iraqi regime, Al-Jubouri left his country in 2006 to Egypt - some sources indicates that the main reason for leaving Iraq was the actor deteriorating health which needed special medical care.

Al-Jubouri is known for his harsh critic of the status of the Iraqi TV drama at the moment. His repraoch of Iraqi artists (actors as well as directors) being reckless is not by any means the reason for him to try to seek opportunities outside Iraq. His judgment is based on his love for his profession and his wish to see Iraqi media and TV drama and theater in aprticular improve. His observation is not new, actually, one of the reasons he quit acting for a short time back in the 1980's was because of his fear from the the ill-fate of many great old actors by the former Iraqi regime. Yet, he emphesized on many occasions that Iraq still a great source of talents in all kind of arts, and the potential is huge if the opportunity and financial resources available.

According to some sources, Behjet Al-Jubouri is working on a big project, a TV series based on true events taken from records of Iraqi secret service during the Saddam era.

This is something I am looking forward to.

From my heart I wish Behjet Al-Jubouri health, especially with the news about his heart health problems recently.

From my heart I congratulate Mr Al-Jubouri again for the award.

Below is the trailer of "Chief Omar Harb" - seen on 0:59

Monday, May 25, 2009

U.S. Justice

The scumbag shown in the picture on the left is Steven Green, who is identified by Wikipedia as a war criminal.

Is there justice in locking up this thug for life time in prison?

I don't believe so

Any society in any country in the world should wipe such people from the face of earth. Some people might not agree with me on the death-sentence, but would letting such people breath from the same air is a mistake.

Am I in position to judge him? yes, as a human being, and this drug and alcohol addict must be executed. What more

According to a source, one of the reasons this thug was not giving capital punishment was that rural Western Kentucky people are conservative libertarian, generally opposed to giving any government the right to kill its citizens, and the kind of Bible Belt Christians who believe in personal redemption. They rarely give death sentences, and when they do those are rarely carried out. (Three people have been executed in Kentucky since 1978.) Pvt. Green moreover had confessed the night of the killings to a sergeant who, to protect the unit, did not report the crime and got Green out the military, out of Iraq. Once in the federal court system, Green had tried to plead guilty twice in exchange for his life but the federal government had twice refused to accept his guilty plea, apparently wanting a show trial. Aware of his confession and attempts to plead guilty, Kentuckians would reliably reject what might be construed as an attempt to turn a capital murder case into a political bargaining chip. The predictable choice for these Kentuckians would therefore have been a quick unanimous vote for life without possibility of parole.

But all this apply to the United States and what is happening in the United States, yet, the crime was committed in Iraq: Gang-raping and murdering a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and murdering her 5-year old little sister, her mother and her father, inside their house, then set fire to the house before leaving with his 4 accomplices. All this cannot be easy going to look at it from a cultural and religious point of view.

Would today's verdict be any difference from the earlier one by the court? I don't think so! this family is Iraqi, not American. Second, the whole thing is among different parties have been politically maneuvered.

If there is any person from the jury has an honor, an honor to imagine the brutality and what that filthy boy and his friends did, he or she would easily bring justice to two innocent girls and their families i.e. sentence him to death.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Saddam's Readiness for War

Sad but true...

It is not sad that the nation has lost a great a leader, because I don't give a damn about that leader, simply because he caused so much pain for decades to Iraq and the Iraqis, secondly, he was the main reason behind bringing all the mayhem Iraqis are living through at the moment... it all goes down to his arrogance, greed and miscalculations.

The footage has been found in 2006 (after the war), I asked around and the answer was it never been aired on official Iraqi TV before. There is an article from the NY Times on this video.

I won't talk about his trial, about his miserable end in this post, but below is a video of a leader who wanted to fight with a slingshot and other weaponry - as they were illustrated by an idiot minister.

This is how a president of a country used to fool himself of inventing a reality that applied only to his sick and filthy mind.

This leader of a great nation is the same one who said back in 1990 that the great boys of Iraq (il-waieelad) will rise up out of nowhere in the desert and with a handful of sand will bring down apache helicopters!

Sad but true

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Al Habbaniya

Al Habbaniya is a huge lake in the middle of the desert located between the city of Falluja and the city of Ramady, west of Iraq. Its size is approximately 700 m2 and can take more than 60 thousands inhabitants.

In the late 1970, the government in Iraq launched an ambitious project that turned the area into one of the most luxorious tourist resorts in Iraq. People of all ages, families with children, group of young boys and girls and university students from Baghdad and neighoring towns and cities used to go there to enjoy the weekend or spend either Al Eid or other holidays there. In addition, many young married couples decided to spend their honeymoon by booking a room in the luxurious hotel or in one of the small bricked beautiful houses.

There are many facilities used to be available for the visitors in Al Habbaniy: there were tennis courts, basketball fields, bycycles can be rented. There was a small hall with electronic games, not to forget the swimming pools, and the two disco halls - one on the rare side of the lake.

In the late 1980's Al Habbaniya became a destination for foreign tourists. I remember seeing groups of men and women from the Gulf and western countries when I used to go there.

I have been countless time to Al Habbaniya. Since I was a child my parents used to take me there accompanied with other family friends, playing with the kids and enjoying the sun and the water. Things didn't change when I grew up, only that it was with group of friends from the neighborhood or joining with colleagues from university. That's why I have a lot of good (and some bad I won't talk about) memories related to Al Habbaniya. Thus, this place has a special meaning to me, until now.

After the 2003 war, the resort was converted into a shelter for poor and displaced families because of the secterian conflict. In addition, a new military base was installed with the purpose of training soldiers as part of the process of forming new army brigades and police squads for Al Anbar province - I even heard that the major military hospital for the American army is located there.

Below are pictures I found on Al Habbaniya during its golden period

Monday, May 18, 2009

Happy House Mall

After the news of a skyscraper plans in Najaf, below is a picture of the first commercial center or a mall in Baghdad.

Its called "happy house", located in Al Dhubbat street, in Al Adhmaiyah neighborhood.

I am delighted with this news, because it proves my theory that there are people in Iraq who believe strongly in life, in moving on, in spite of what happens.

The picture was taken during the opening ceremonies of the mall, with honored guest Al Eesawy, deputy prime minister of Iraq - that's why we see a guard with automatic weapon appear in the picture.

The image is from Ahmed Al Taai and Ahmed Al Salihi profiles on facebook

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Skyscraper In Najaf

I never heard of this until now. I am trying to imagine a skyscraper stretching high in the sky of the city of Najaf. This is not the big deal, it is nice to have something like that. According to the news source, this skyscraper is part of an expanded 10 years plan to modernize the city of Najaf, and that this design is going to be implemented by a Kuwaiti company. However, the cost of building the skyscraper only is 38 billion dollars! And that part of that amount of money is already has been paid to the Iraqi government!!!!!!!!


This gorgeous woman is Shahrazad.

This woman did not use her femenine tools to attract and change the bloody habit of her husband, Shahrayar. She used her mind, her intellegence to soften the heart of a sadistic mind.

I wrote about Shahrazad in 2007, while writing about her statue in Baghdad.

The story of 1000 nights and one night is an inspiration to generations of story tellers, movies makers, musicians and poets.

It will remain so, forever and ever and ever.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Basrah: Old and New

In the last post I put a number of pictures of beautiful north of Iraq. Today I am putting pictures from the further south of Iraq, from the gorgeous city of Basrah (or Basra, as in some sources).













 badrr shaker
































I found the pictures on the Internet, so anyone claims rights to these photos, please let me know - the main reason for publishing these photos is to share, and to show the beauty of Iraq.