February 23, 2019

Iraq: viewed from a different aspect

H.E. Dr. Hisham Al – Alawi, Ambassador of Iraq with guests during performances.

Fighting Terrorism with Culture

By Roy Lie Atjam.

The Hague, 5 September 2018. Under the auspices of H.E. Dr. Hisham Al-Alawi, Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq, a cultural evening was organized at the Chancellery of Iraq in The Hague. Ambassador Al-Alawi cordially welcomed the diverse audience. He related there are various reasons for organizing a cultural evening. One is the latest success of Iraq Security forces in combating terrorism and barbarism. Culture (music) has the potential to promotes understanding.

Iraq is not just a country of explosions, it is also not just a country of violence and problems. However, music has proven to be an integral part of Iraqi culture. Hence, Ambassador Hisham Al-Alawi invited the audience to enjoy the informal lecture and concert of Iraqi music.

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Iraq Maqam singer Mr. Ali Al -Jadah.

The cultural evening was about a different side of Iraq, an ancient people, part of a great civilization from the Cradle of Civilization. What has been presented on 5 September was music that goes back thousands of years, music made on instruments like the flute, derback tambourine and so on.

So, the cultural evening featured Iraqi history and music. Special guests were Dr. Khahazal Al-Majidi who delivered a discourse on music and singing in Mesopotamia. He elaborated on the role of music and song back in Mesopotamia. Dr. Khahazal Al Majidi is a historian, dramatist, writer and poet.

Dr. Khahazal Al Majidi was accompanied by Mr. Sattar Al-Saadi who explained the role of art and rhythm in Mesopotamia, the Sumerian and Babylonian civilisation.

Dr. Khahazal Al-Majidi, Iraqi historian, dramatist, writer and poet.

Further on the program, showcasing of the many moods of music from several communities within the land which is now Iraq. Mr. Sattar Al-Saadi performed a piece on the derback entitled Theatre of Learning. The derback is an instrument originally made of clay and fish leather. An essential element in an Arab orchestra(percussion) Sattar Al-Saadi further played on an authentic Iraqi flute and also on one he made of PVC when he first arrived as a refugee in the Netherlands.

Additionally, the duo Sattar Al-Saadi, flute and Caroline Devile played Sinking Ship, written after an experience in Sattar Al Saadi’ life.

After a short break, the program continued with a concert brimming over with positive Iraqi vibrations. The trio: Caroline Devile piano and song, Sattar Al-Saadi flute, derback and tambourine and the renowned veteran Iraq Maqam singer Mr. Ali Al -Jadah (78) who stole the show with his voice full of vigour and spirit graced the concert. Interesting to note that from September 6-10, 2018 the First International Maqom Festival has taken place in the city of Shakhrisabz, Uzbekistan.

To the delight of the audience, the trio performed popular folk songs. The audience was elated! Everyone left the concert in high spirit.

The Ambassador of Morocco, His Excellency Abdelouahab Bellouki, Mr. Amokrane Mourad, Chargé d’affaires of the Embassy of Algeria, the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia, His Excellency Abdulaziz Abohaimed and Ambassador Al-Alawi.

It has been a veritable Iraqi evening; head- and staff of diplomatic missions, Iraqis residing in the Netherlands and friends of Iraq attended the event.

























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