Baghdad Peace Festival

 

 

Baghdad Peace Festival
* an annual event

 

 

Written by:

Tiba Al-Nawab

 

Translated and edited by:

Al-Nasir Bellah

 

The Baghdadian folkloric music, Al-Chalghi Al-Baghdadi, marked the ending of the Baghdad Peace Festival, which was organized by Iraqi Alamal Association (IAA), in cooperation with Mr. Muhammed Al-Robayie. The festival was the local celebration of the International Day of Peace, which falls on September 21st of every year, and took place in Al-Zawra’a Park, in the center of Baghdad.

Al-Chalghi Al-Baghdadi

 

The festival, which lasted about two hours, and was organized and planned by young Noof Assi, and Zain Mohammed was presented by Hind Al-Qaisy, beginning by the word of the presenter about the idea of the International Day of Peace and how it began, followed by the word of the Head of the IAA, Mr. Noa’aman Muna, in which he thanked the efforts done by all the young men and women who participated in making the festival come to life, and congratulated the secretary of the IAA, Hana’a Edwar, for achieving Sean McBride International Peace Award, from the International Peace Bureau in Zurich, followed by the word of Hana’a Edwar herself about this day.

Hana’a Edwar

The live music, the Music of Peace, done by young guitarist, Salwan, and Oud artist, Haneen, along with Qanoon artist, Fadi, accompanied by lead singer, Saprina, drove the emotions of the audience into the maximum, to be only surpassed by the next play; which in no more than 10 minutes, young actor and director Ali Kareem delivered the thoughts of the Iraqi youth, and without any words, to the audience by means of the play “The Chair of Zeus”, followed by the act of young children band “Tyoor Al-Salam – Birds of Peace”, a part of Iraqi Women for Peace Organization, after which came 3 songs done by the rap band “Smashin’ Hits”; introducing the peace-rap songs to the festival, then young Iraqi poet “Ra’ad Al-Asadi” with his poem about peace, later on, and in about 30 minutes, the band “Farah Al-Atfal, Happiness of Children”, delivered the smile into the faces of hundreds of children in this festival, after that, the whole team intensely participated in singing the song “Peace for the People of God in Iraq”, then the festival was concluded by the Baghdadian Folkloric Chalghi band, through which the team and audience both responded to this dynamic music, and drove everyone to dance.

Music of Peace

Ali in the Chair of Zeus

Happiness of Children show

Birds of Peace

                              In the background, young artists Aysar, Karam and Tiba all participated in drawing the Iraqi map, and the artists Marwa, Ola and Rusl were busy in face-painting on the faces of children

 

 

   Tiba, Karam and Aysar drawing the map of Iraq

                                  Face-painting

On another corner, Peace Day T-shirts and music CDs were sold to the audience at nominal prices

.

  Peace Day CDs

Another corner was assigned for the media coordination through live streaming through the internet, which was run by a team of internet specialists and bloggers (Al-Nasir Bellah, Ahmed and Marwan).

                              Al-Nasir Bellah, Marwan and Ahmed on live streaming

Peace wishes wall, an idea relatively new to the Iraqi society, had another corner in the festival, on which everyone wrote his wish in this day of peace.

                             Hind Al-Qaysi, writing on the peace wishes wall

The festival was a total success, hundreds of Iraqis attended this event, among them were members of Baghdad Provincial Council; including Mr. Muhammed Al-Robayie, the head of women affairs committee, members of different NGOs, and others, and was covered by the media; no less than 10 local and international channels and newspapers covered the event, including Al-Rasheed, Al-Baghdadiya, Al-Fayha’a, Al-Forat, Al-Hurriya, Al-Arabia channels and The Washington Post Newspaper.

Something to mention; is that the festival was surrounded by signs that obliged everyone not to carry any weapons with them in this day of peace, and indeed every member of the security and body guards of the officials attending this event stayed out of this festival.

This is a day of peace; please don’t carry any weapon with you J

 

 

About the organizers:

* Noof Assi (22 years old) is a human rights’ activist, secretary of the board of trustees of IAA, alumnus of Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP, 2010), and has a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts.

* Zain Muhammed (23 years old) is a human rights’ activist, member of the executive board of IAA, a trainer in the program “Women and Technology” in Iraq, a trainer for the Red Cross in Iraq, and has a bachelor’s degree in IT and software engineering.

Baghdad Peace Festival team

 

 

 

Note: all of the work done by the young men and women in this day was a volunteer work, and through the course of two months, with meetings on weekly basis, the team organized, planned and executed this event, making the impossible, simply, possible.

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