Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday in Baghdad

It's Friday and I woke up refreshed from a long deep sleep. I called him and he answered: "I was about to go there alone, let us go together friend!". Central Baghdad, neglected but still charming in our eyes. 
 Then to Al-Mada House in Al-Mutanabbee Street.
 The man who was talking today about Ma'eda Nazhat in Al-Mada House had said: "And she had gone to Mecca for pilgrimage in the late 80s and quitted singing."
  A usual story for Arabic Muslim female singers and actors. That is not the case with male singers and actors. Many understand the hidden message, which is not actually hidden per se, that a female singer or actor is a sinner. To be more specific, she is regarded as a prostitute.
The relation between music and Muslim Arabs is a complex one.
Women who dare to sing in our culture are regarded as prostitutes until proved otherwise. Um Kalthum, Fairouz, and few others succeeded to become an exception for that rule. 

 Today I saw a group of Iraqi female singers who played traditional Iraqi music pieces with one of Ma'eda Nazhat songs, in Al-Mada House in Al-Mutanabbee street. A man shouted something between the songs and I didn't caught what he said. One of the female musicians looked at him in a gaze that was questioning and was anxious. He gave her his back and came smiling sarcastically and went walking far pretending to look at the books and magazines that were in his hands.

The musicians started another piece of music and the attendees helped to give life to the rhythm of the well-known Iraqi traditional song by their clapping.

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