Tag Archives: Iraq

4.16.14 Personal Status Law in Iraq and Iran funding Iraqi Shia militias to fight in Syria

from Al Jazeera

On this week’s show, we look at the Iraqi cabinet’s approval for a new personal status legislation, called Ja’fari law, named after the sixth Shi’ite imam Ja’afar al-Sadiq. He established a school of jurisprudence (Shi’ite) in Madina in the 8th century. The draft law is now awaiting a final vote by the Iraqi Parliament, and has created an uproar among Iraqi women’s rights and civil rights community.

If approved, the Ja’fari law will abolish the current Personal Status Law No 188, which is considered one of the most progressive in the Arab world. The new law will roll back the right of women in marriage, divorce and child custody, as well as inheritance. It will lower the age of marriage for girls from 18 to 9 and for boys to 15.

In this week’s show, Malihe speaks with prominent Iraqi women Rights’s activist, Basma AlKhateeb, who volunteers with Iraq 1st CEDAW, Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women Shadow Report Coalition as expert and trainer. She spoke from Baghdad about who initially proposed the law and what the implications of this law are for Iraqi women.

Shahram Aghamir speaks with Martin Chulov, the Guardian’s Middle East correspondent, about one his recent reporting trips to the Iraqi city of Najaf. Iraqi Shia militias killed in Syria are the newcomers to the city’s cemetery, the biggest in the world. They discuss the growing political force Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq’s connections with Iran and thousands of Iraqi Shia militias funded by the Iranian government to fight on the side of Bashar Al Assad, who is predicted to win the next election in Syria.

Chulov writes, “The newest occupants of the cemetery were killed not here in Iraq but in Syria, where they fought under the green flag of the Middle East’s most potent new Shia Islamic political force, Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (League of the Righteous).”

VOMENA 3.19.14 Why is the Dead Sea Dying and the 11th Anniversary of War in Iraq

Views of the Dead Sea in 1972, 1989, and 2011. NASA Earth Observatory / Wikipedia.

The famous Dead Sea, a salt lake between Jordan to the east and the occupied West Bank and present-day Israel to the west, has been shrinking at the alarming rate of 1.5 meters a year for the past 40 years. So why is the Dead Sea dying?

On this week’s show, Malihe Razazan talks to Palestinian environmentalist, Muna Dajani, about the Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Project, a 10 billion dollar program attempting to revive the Dead Sea, sponsored by the World Bank. She says that 80% of the water from the Jordan River, which normally fills the Dead Sea, is being diverted by Israel for agricultural and domestic use.

The 110-mile pipeline, which will be laid on Jordanian territory, will pump 200 million cubic meters from the Red Sea, half of which will go towards the Dead Sea. The other half will be desalinated and sold by Israel to Jordan and Palestine.

However, the proposed plan is raising concerns among environmentalists – namely, how will mixing water from another sea affect the unique chemical and biological composition of the Dead Sea? The project would supply less than 100m of the 800m cubic meters of water needed each year to stabilize the Dead Sea – and doesn’t address the root causes of the declining water levels, according to Friends of the Earth Middle East.

Later in the program, we will mark the 11th anniversary of the war Iraq with Sinan Antoon reading from his book of poems, Baghdad Blues. He is an Iraqi poet, novelist, scholar, and an associate professor at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York University and editor/cofounder at Jadaliyyah.

Vomena 1.29.14 – Erdem Yörük on the corruption scandal in Turkey and Sinan Antoon on his new novel, “The Corpse Washer”

Cover image from Sinan Antoon's new novel, "The Corpse Washer"

Cover image from Sinan Antoon’s new novel, “The Corpse Washer”

On this week’s program, we will be talking about the latest corruption scandal engulfing Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government. Shahram Aghamir fills in for Kahlil Bendib to speak with Erdem Yörük, an assistant professor of sociology at Koç University in Turkey about the political graft in that country and how it all unfolded.

Last summer it was the Gezi park anti-government that rattled the Turkish government. Today, Turkish Prime Minster Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party AKP are facing another crisis brought about by a corruption scandal and a power struggle between the self-exiled influential US based religious leader Fethullah Gülen and  Prime Minister Erdogan.

For more background reading about Turkey’s latest political crisis, visit Jadaliyya.com.

In the second part of the program, Malihe will speak with acclaimed Iraqi novelist Sinan Antoon about the inspiration for his new novel. News from Iraq has been reduced to daily reports of bombings and carnage. Seeking to explore the emotions of those still alive, Sinan Antoon writes about the accumulated tragedy of loss in his novel, “The Corpse Washer”. The protagonist Jawod is pressured by his father, a corpse washer, to take over the family job. But Jawod has different plans for his life – he wants to become an artist, a sculptor. But growing up during the Iran-Iraq war of the 80’s and witnessing the invasion of Kuwait in the 90’s, he is exhausted by death, and wishes to shape his future in other ways. But his future does not pan out as he plans.

Sinan Antoon is an Iraqi poet, novelist, scholar, and an associate professor at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York University. “The Corpse Washer” is his second novel.

New book about oil in Iraq

We are back this week, with two exellent guests, British campaigner and investigative reporter Greg Muttitt talks about his book, Fuel on the fire – Oil and Politics in Occupied Iraq.

Later in the program, we will hear from Iraqi filmaker Oday Rasheed. His beautifully shot feature film “Qarantina“, captures life in the post occupation Iraq, he portrays relationships among his film’s five characters. Shahram Aghamir interviewed him while he was visiting for his residence at the San Francisco Film Society.


Update on Pakistan after the Flood; Iraqi film “Son of Babylon”

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

This week on Voices of the Middle East & North Africa, we have a conversation with Kamran Ali, an associate professor of anthropology and acting director of the South Asia Institute at the University of Texas at Austin. Ali talks about the political landscape in Pakistan in the midst of a flood that’s left thousands dead and over one and half million people homeless.

Son of Babylon

Later in the program, we’ll bring you the first of two part conversation with Iraqi film maker Mohamed Al-Daradji about his award winning feature film Ibne Babel, or Son of Babylon, a story about a grandmother and grandson in occupied Iraq. Al-Daradji speaks with us about the state of the film industry in Iraq. And how he’s received numerous death threats – and has even been kidnapped – because of the movies he’s produced.

This Week: A Modern History of Jerusalem; Searching for Iraq’s Artistic Life

Wednesday March 31, 2010

This week on Voices of the Middle East and North Africa, Khalil Bendib speaks with Director of the Institute of Jerusalem Studies  and Birzeit University Professor of sociology Salim Tamari about an essay published in the Jerusalem quarterly titled “Jerusalem’s Ottoman modernity,” in which he depicts a very different Jerusalem around the turn of the 20th century than the one we are familiar with today.

Later in the program, Malihe Razazan speaks with Hadani Ditmars, a co-editor of  New Internationalist, who went to Iraq in February of this year to explore whatever is left of the art in post-invasion Iraq.

Click here to listen:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


This Week: Iraq Elections

The Hurt Locker

This week on  Voices of the Middle East and North Africa,  Professor Sinan Antoon on elections in Iraq and Omid Arabian on Hurt Locker.

Broadcasts 94.1. FM in San Francisco at 7PM PST.

Khalil Bendib’s Weekly Cartoon: Hidden Feelings

For more of Khalil Bendib’s cartoons, visit The Pen is Funnier than the Sword.

Hidden Feelings

Khalil Bendib’s Weekly Cartoon

For more of Khalil Bendib’s cartoons, visit The Pen is Funnier than the Sword.

This Week on VOMENA

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2009

Voices of the Middle East and North Africa has a conversation with Professor. Pete Moore of Case Western University about the political economy of Iraq. Tunisian filmmakers Kalthoum Bornaz speaks about her film, “The Other Half of the Sky.”

Click here to subscribe to our podcast.

Audio to come

Get Adobe Flash playerPlugin by wpburn.com wordpress themes