Tourism In Iraq!

Recently I came over a website promoting Tourism in Iraq. Many posted videos on the site show what the country has to offer in terms of historical sites that might be the most attractive part for a visitor. Watching some of those videos you get the idea that those valuable pieces of history are totally abandoned. Shouldn’t promoting for tourism efforts start by maintaining those priceless gems first then promote them?


I know that I can choose, but I cannot confirm that I am free…

The door should be somewhere

The door should be somewhere

“I know that I can choose, but I cannot confirm that I am free, for my choices are always confined to conditions beyond my will.”

This is how the Iraqi born artist Sadik Kwaish Alfraji presents his exhibitions “An introduction to the philosophy of freedom” in the Stads gallery in Amersfoort, Netherlands. As he does not believe in limiting his art work to one form of expression, his exhibition is a rich experience where the experience itself is what matters. Sometimes, they are plays of the art work with its title, impregnated  with philosophical connotations and dark presence emphasized with the use of  colors. The presence of memories from his homeland Iraq in his works takes the viewer through a path of the artists’ personal and emotional experiences.

Photos of my father & my mother

Photos of my father & my mother

His latest works were part of a group exhibition held in the Mathaf, Arab Museum of Modren Art in 2011 under the title (Told / Untold / Retold). One of the exhibited art works is an interesting video painting titled ” The house that my father built, (once upon a time)”.

Nevertheless, it was interesting for us to also see his developing artistic style through watching chronologically his art works. We post here one of his older works and a poem:

“I do not paint out of luxury,
and do not seek beauty,
but as an attempt to reason the world and myself….

Yet, always,
the result does not exceed a restless
sort of crying.”

Elusive Beauty, 2011

Elusive Beauty, 2011

Dialogue Between Two Shores

Two sounds that speak the harmony of human art. The event was a live dialogue between two musicians from two sides of the Mediterranean Sea. It was celebrated in Casa Árabe of Madrid, an institution that seeks to spread knowledge of Arab and Muslim realities in the European and western context, and vice versa. It aims to create an arena of mutual knowledge and shared opinions, a meeting point. The concert was celebrated on the European day of music in June 21 2010, as part of the program of Casa Árabe of Madrid for the Week of Iraq.

The two artists participating in this event were the Iraqi renowned oud player Naseer Shamma and the Spanish guitar player Carlos Piñana.

TEDxBaghdad 2011

“Good times for a change” said Mr. Morrissey, a sentence that perfectly fits what in these later times is happening within the Arab World. Some months ago, the Arab Spring, and now, after years of continuous disaster and more than four decades of brain-drain, Baghdad “makes the impossible, possible” and brings back its deeply rooted cultural talent thanks to TEDxBaghdad. This international conference aims to create an environment to nourishing ideas while providing a stage for focussing the attention they are worth of. Next November 12, Baghdad will be the international center for spreading ideas, promoting Iraqi talents, enhancing the image of Iraq. There will be the opportunity to get inspired by some stories of people overcoming adversity through their personal commitment with human beings and social development.

The Speakers program includes some of the best Iraqi talents, representatives of several disciplines such as: architecture, medicine, visual arts, civic rights, heritage, film, music, philanthropy or sustainability. Do not miss the opportunity of listening the Iraqi musicians Naseer Shamma and Kadim Al-Sahir, the architects Manhal Al-Habbobi and Ihsan Fethi, in additon to the activists Azzam Alwash for environment, Wisam Al-Tuwaijri for autism, and Suroor Yousif, who will speak about equal opportunities for blinded people. There will be also the opportunity to share experiences with people of the arts, such as Mohamed Al-Daradji, director of the acclaimed movie Son of Babylon; Maysa Ibrahim, founder of The Young  Mesopotamians providing gifted individuals in Iraq with unmatched educational opportunities; and the art educator Rawa Naimi, President of Enki Organization for Arts, which provides education and support to vulnerable groups including Iraq’s numerous orphans, widows and those with special needs.

Besides, there will be some presence for health care and philantropy with Inaam Jawad, founder of Dina Lodging Institute, an organization that houses over sixty physically or mentally disabled children and adults. Also, Dr. Ali Majid will share his experience as a plastic surgeon and finally, the philanthropist Jeremy Courtney who will share his experiences as founder of Preemptive Love Coalition, an organization training local heart surgeons and nurses until they can eradicate the 30,000+ backlog of children waiting in line for lifesaving surgery.

The lectures will be accompanied by some selected short speechs by applicants who wanted to share and promote an idea for Iraq’s development. You can find all the application videos available in this YouTube channel. Finally, our best wishes for احمد عبد الكريم, with his project “Lost&Found”, really what Baghdad needs: finding itself after the loss.

For those who will not be able to attend TEDxBaghdad onsite, you will be able to follow it live through streaming and participate in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.