Friday, April 13, 2007

Voices of Iraq

I spent this past week starting to learn the Iraqi dialect of Arabic. We have focused entirely on conversation skills which has allowed us to skip learning the alaphabet and jump right in. At some point I may go back to learn it, but given my needs this is perfect as long as I learn to read numbers.

In the same spirit of my previous post, we in the US don't get much from our media regarding how the Iraqis themselves think about the situation there, and I saw a film in class Friday called Voices of Iraq. Apparently, the film makers gave out 150 mini-cams in 2003 and asked Iraqis to record whatever they felt and then pass the camera on to someone else. The cameras and their footage criss-crossed the Iraqi landscape and society, with the resulting film showing some actual balance in the result. One clips shows a young girl wishing Sadam was still in power, and then Iraqis laughing at the US's consternation over Ahbu Gharib. "If having a female soldier play with my penis is the worst you can do, then arrest me now." And so it is like that, some pro-American, some anti, but mostly people deploring the security situation. Worth watching if you can get a copy.