IAA is currently working on a project that will, through literature, improve communication and understanding between the East and the West. It is hoped that this project, entitled Iraqi Writers Spark Open Mindedness, will help people, particularly college level students, in learning about the people, history and culture of Iraq and in the process, assisting to build bridges that will pave the way for peace.
The project will offer an opportunity for five notable Iraqi-born writers, whose works have an important role to play in our present and future, to be heard. Their works include a collection of short stories and one of poetry, a novel, a book on the history of poetry in Iraq, one on Iraq during WWII and one on Iraqi artists. By translating their Arabic words into English and making their work available in the U.S. for the general public, particularly in educational institutions, they will help bring awareness of their culture and encourage a better understanding among people from all around the world, paving the way for tolerance and peace.
The Chaldean/Babylonian culture, and its corresponding Mesopotamian art, literature and numerous accomplishments, is one of the world’s most ancient cultures. We believe that Iraqi Writers Spark Open Mindedness will enhance the life of the community by preserving the nation’s diverse and cultural heritage.
The Great American Family, a Documentary
The Great American Family, currently in production, is a documentary that is co-sponsored by IAA. The story is about Dawn Hanna, a woman who was accused of conspiring with Emad Al-Yawer, a man of Iraqi origin who lives in the United Kingdom. Unbeknownst to her and the jury, Emad was actually a CIA operative, participating in a secret U.S. government-sponsored operation involving Iraq. So Dawn was helping the U.S. government accomplish an important undercover mission.
IAA Participated in the Protests Against the Church Attack in Iraq
A worldwide protest for those killed inside Our Lady of Salvation Church in Iraq was collectively orchestrated on Monday, November 8th. In Detroit, hundreds of grieving Christian Iraqis, dressed in black and holding up banners, demonstrated from 12:00 – 4:00 pm outside the McNamara Federal Building.
IAA Participated in the Iraqi-American Elections
For the third time since 2003, Iraqi Americans headed to the polls Friday, March 5th – 7th to vote for the Iraqi Parliament. The elections in Michigan were held at two locations: Tree Manor in Dearborn and Bella Banquet Hall in Warren.
Supreme Master Television
Constructive Programming for a Peaceful World.
Between December 2009 and June of 2010, Supreme Master Television worked with Iraqi Artists Association in a cultural exchange that introduced and promoted members of the Iraqi Artists Association.
1 - Art Exhibition & Book Show
2 - Group for Iraqi traditional music 3 - Art Exhibition Tour, Poetry & Lecture about Jawad Salim & the Freedom Monument
In mid January, IAA (the Iraqi Artists Association) presented the first Iraqi Cultural Week in Michigan, entitled "The Other Frontier of Iraq". The event was designed to familiarize the community with the Iraqi and Iraqi-American Artists who are active in various fields as visual artists, composers and writers. This effort was to help people recognize Iraq's roots and build a better future.
IAA, in collaboration with Mesopotamia Art Gallery and with the generous support of Madonna University, helped broaden an appreciation for Iraq's rich history and culture, and thus, fostered understanding between the East and the West. By hosting IAA, Madonna University in Livonia provided Iraqi and Iraqi-American artists with a home and a community that encouraged their freedom of expression and provided them with support.
The following is a list of events, artists and other participants in the Iraqi Cultural Week:
January 16, 2008 - Opening reception and Book Show: Speeches by:
Weam Namou-Yatooma, President of IAA
Dr. Ernest Nolan, Ph.D., Vice President of Madonna University
Dr. Jonathan Swift, Ph.D., Director of International Relations at Madonna University
The art tour was led by visual artist and historian Amer Hanna Fatuhi, IAA Director of Art and History. Assistant Professor Douglas Semivan also joined Mr. Fatuhi.
Participant Visual Artists:
Amer Hanna Fatuhi
Burhan Saleh Kirkukly
Mazin Elia Al Sha'awi
Ziad Majeed Haider (1954 2006)
The book show consisted of novels, dictionaries, and academic studies in the fields of art, history and science. There were four language categories: English, Arabic, Chaldean and Mendanian. Unfortunately, other Iraqi books in Kurdish, Turkish and Armenian, did not arrive in time to be displayed.
Aser Abdul Rahman
Dr. Abdulah Marqus Rabi
Dr. Ali Abdul Amir
Fr. Michael Bizy
Fr. Emmanuel Al Rayyes
Fr. J. Yasso
Fr. Hanna Shikho
Lamia Abbas Umara
The event was covered by Iraqi Chaldean American TV (ICA) & Madonna TV.
January 19, 2008 - Music, Poetry Reading & a tour of the Iraqi Art exhibition
Iraqi traditional music by UR Group:
Ghada al Mekdesy (Ud, head of the group)
Alaa al Shakarchi (Qanoon)
Thamin Jabiro (Drum)
Ghassan Hami (Violin)
Raeed Hanna (Guitar)
Bassam Naem (Singer)
Poetry reading by Weam Namou, who read her work as well as poems by Paul Batou.
The event was covered by the Iraqi Chaldean American (ICA) TV (Mr. Sahir N. al-Malih).
January 23, 2008 - Lecture Series
A two-part lecture by the visual artist & historian Amer Hanna Fatuhi:
a) An introduction to modern Iraqi art as well as covering the issue of the pioneer Iraqi artist Issa Hanna Dabish (1919-Present) who is extremely sick and the Iraqi government is ignoring his condition. The only exception is his old friend (Prof. Dr. Abdulhadi Al-Khalili, esq.) who is now the Iraqi attaché in Washington, DC.
b) Discussion of the late pioneer artist Jawad Salim and his great achievement, the Freedom Monument, which is currently exposed to collapse in Baghdad (In Silence) !!!
A poetry reading by Weam Namou, which included her work as well as that of Paul Batou.
A documentary: Jawad Salim & the Freedom Monument produced by IAA, scenario by Amer Hanna Fatuhi, and directed by Zuhair Shaaouni
IAA would like to express its gratitude to the following media:
Iraqi American Media Network IAMN
Mr. Sahir N. al Malih & ICA TV
Al Hurra Iraqi Satellite TV
Ishtar Iraqi Satellite TV
Voice of Tomorrow Radio
Middle East Radio
Detroit Free Press
Chaldean Detroit Times & its publisher Mr. Amir Denha
A special thanks to the following people and organizations:
-Pro. Dr. Stanley D. Williams, PhD, for covering the ICW on his blog and for providing IAA with a few photos that have been posted on our website and other Iraqi websites.
- Artist Zuhair Shaaouni who voluntarily directing the documentary "Jawad Salim & the Freedom Monument".
-Mesopotamia Art Gallery in Ferndale (www.mesopotamiaartgallery.com) for its strong collaboration, which helped make Iraqi Cultural Week a success.