Iraqi music live

The BBC is now streaming some very nice oud and guitar music on  BBC Radio 3 World Routes. (Thanks, Canahan!)

Update: Very nice station; I enjoyed the classical bit afterwards too.   I remember listening to BBC News on a little longwave radio in Jordan every day, but it was never like that.  We don’t have a strictly classical station here in Chicago, but we do have world-class jazz–although much less of it since Dick Buckley retired and took his record collection with him.

The Iraqi program–BBC proms (?) Ilham Al Mafai and friends on oud and guitar–which  comes up if you do a site search for Iraq, is still available here.

Posted in Iraq, music. 4 Comments »

New Hussam Al-Rassam حسام الرسام links for Iraqi Music

When I first discovered Hussam Al-Rassam  حسام الرسام a few years ago I posted a link to his website and a couple of his most popular songs. Those links are long gone, but today I was looking for his music again and found some new links. It looks like he’s been in Detroit, Chicago, and in Australia recording some new stuff.

Results of search (more in this list) (sound quality is like TV):

Iraqi Song-Sad but True

Bilani Zimani [New song 2008]

Ya Noora NEW

Results of translated google search, with thumbnails and YouTube links–the sound quality is better on some of these and there are some links to stuff from his defunct website.

A little better sound quality from YouTube:

Ya Ali ياعلي

Ibnak Ya Iraq ابنك ياعراق …another version of Ibnak Ya Iraq (Your son, O Iraq)

Mu Galo – مو كالوا with some crosstalk at beginning of recording–I think the photos are Baghdad.’

The Iraqi Football (soccer) Song “bring the cup home” Jeeb El Kahsجيب الكاس

And then of course there’s the ever popular al-3agruba العگربة “Oh, my mother I have been bitten by a scorpion”, take-off on American Idol, with Hussam’s sphinx-like smile and hot dance moves.

Wait! Wait! Here it is, the official new Hussam Al-Rassam website (?)–still under construction, but very slick, and there’s a nice instrumental on the home page.  It looks like there will be eventual links to his albums–and I can only hope they plan to add a little ingeleezi button for English.

If anyone knows where to find the lyrics in English and/or in Arabic, please do post a link for me.

“Wimps and Weenies”–Professionalism not running rampant at State Department

The Foreign Service has been in an uproar since an announcement last month that diplomats will be drafted to assignments in Iraq if enough diplomats do not volunteer.

At the Oct. 31 town hall meeting, hundreds of diplomats applauded when one likened a forced tour in Iraq to a “potential death sentence.” Some at the session questioned the ethics of ordering unarmed civilians into a war zone and expressed concerns about a lack of training and medical care for those who have served….

Three foreign service personnel — two diplomatic security agents and one political officer — have been killed in Iraq since the war began in March 2003.

The discussion on Dipnote, the official blog, has turned nasty, with those questioning the policy being called “wimps and weenies”.

These are diplomats. You know, the ones we depend on to keep peace in the world by their diplomatic behavior.

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Veteran’s Day Email: The real cost of war–when will they ever learn?

Sent to me in memory of Del Ray Jacobs, PFC USMC, who died in Viet Nam over 35 years ago. I taught with his sister in the Middle East. Our Iraqi refugee students (back in 1999) particularly enjoyed listening to “Where have all the flowers gone”. When will they ever learn, indeed.

I’ll pass this one on without comment, for Veteran’s Day 2007:


As I reflect on this photograph, I seeonce again that not all the brave leave the ‘home of the brave’ toenter battle; some are required now to be the ‘brave of the home’

It is said a picture is worth a thousand words but it leaves me speechless and tearsin my eyes.

Would YouSend This Please

Would You Send This Please

We have a long list of good friends whose husbands are deploying

to Iraqnext month. One of the wives sent me this. We feel compelled

to send it on. Your prayers are deeply appreciated. These guys and gals

deserve our love, our hugs and most powerfully, our prayers.

Prayer Request:

I understand that life in Iraqis very difficult to bear right now. Our troops need our prayers for strength,endurance and safety.

Send this on after a short prayer; please don’t break it:

‘Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protectus. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us inour time of need. Amen.’

When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our troopsaround the world.

There’s nothing attached; just send this to all in your address book. Do notlet it stop with you, please — of all the gifts you could give! a US Soldier,Sailor, Airman, or Marine deployed in harm’s way, prayer is the very best!!!


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The Cost of Discipleship: IRS drops investigation of Pasadena church’s anti-war sermon

The IRS has dropped its investigation of the all Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena over a 2004 anti-war sermon. So what did they determine? The anti-war sermon is illegal and the church loses its tax-exempt status? Nope. Maybe the anti-war sermon is completely legal and the church should never have been investigated? Nope. The IRS has concluded that the anti-war sermon was illegal but the church can keep its tax-exempt status.

The church has spent approximately $200,000 defending itself from the IRS investigation.

During an audit, taxpayers are usually given the opportunity to discuss and explain issues of concern, but in this case, the IRS has yet to explain exactly what violates the rules against intervening in a political campaign. The current rector says the church has “no more guidance about the IRS rules now than when we started this process.” The church has decided to ask for an explanation and an apology from the IRS, and an investigation by the Treasury department which oversees it.

The church has also obtained e-mails through a Freedom of Information Act request that call into question the role of the Justice Department in the case. The emails show the Justice Department communicated with the IRS before the IRS became interested in the case, that the Justice department coordinated IRS requests for documents and also discussed news coverage of the case.

“In view of the fact that recent congressional inquiries have revealed extensive politicization of [the Department of Justice], my client is very concerned that the close coordination undertaken by the IRS allowed partisan political concerns to direct the course of the All Saints examination,” attorney Marcus S. Owens wrote in a letter Friday requesting an investigation.

No kidding.

Posted in Free speech, Iraq, peace, Religion. Comments Off on The Cost of Discipleship: IRS drops investigation of Pasadena church’s anti-war sermon

National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq summary declassified

The intelligence community has declassified the summary of a longer National Intelligence Estimate report on Iraq. Here is a link to the text of the ten-page report. Here is a link to which provides more links to analysis. Here is a link to the previous report from February 2007.

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Brookings Institute Reports Surge Working

The Brookings Institute has released a new study that suggests the military “surge” in Iraq may be having some effect.

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Iraq the Musical

This came out last year but for some reason the music keeps going around in my head. Click on the button to hear the anti-war message from


Fallujah, Ramadi, gonna be a party

Bacubah, Samarra, goin’ there tomorra’…

Shias and Sunnis

Suicidal loonies…

No one can rhyme the word “orange”, but these guys found a rhyme for “Ramadi, Fallujah.”

Seems like everyone likes the Beach Boys for political statements. What event was that where Cheney, before he started his speech, hummed a few bars of Barbara Ann with the lyrics “Ba ba ba, ba bomb Iran” ?

Posted in Humor, Iraq, peace. Comments Off on Iraq the Musical

Iraq Insurgency: the Saudi connection

Iran, Syria and Moqtadr get plenty of press  for their role in the Iraq insurgency, but the LA Times has published new information about the Saudi link.

According to “a senior U.S. military officer”:

  • 45% of all foreign militants are from Saudi Arabia; 15% are from Syria and Lebanon; and 10% are from North Africa…
  • Al Qaeda in Iraq and its affiliate groups number anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 individuals….Iraqis make up the majority of members, facilitating attacks, indoctrinating, fighting, but generally not blowing themselves up. Iraqis account for roughly 10% of suicide bombers…
  • With its own border with Iraq largely closed, Saudi fighters take what is now an established route by bus or plane to Syria, where they meet handlers who help them cross into Iraq’s western deserts…
  • An estimated 60 to 80 foreign fighters cross into Iraq each month…
  • Al Qaeda in Iraq and its affiliate groups number anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 individuals…
  • Nearly half of the 135 foreigners in U.S. detention facilities in Iraq are Saudis…
  • …50% of all Saudi fighters in Iraq come here as suicide bombers. In the last six months, such bombings have killed or injured 4,000 Iraqis.
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Iraq initial benchmark report

The White House released the required initial benchmark report on Iraq Thursday; here is the full text.

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