Arbil, Iraq (AFP) Feb 21, 2011
A play whose plot took actors and audience alike across Iraq's Kurdish capital of Arbil this week delivered a stinging portrait of the northern region's leaders as power-mad and greedy.
When Karukh Ibrahim's 90-minute production climaxed outside the Kurdistan region's parliament building, it was the 28-year-old director's way of adding his voice to protests that have raged against entrenched rulers throughout the Middle East.
"Qabristan", or "The Cemetery" in Kurdish, started at a park in the centre of Arbil and shifted locations in the city as the young hero in search of his mother and an old woman looking for her son were pitted against elitist offiicals.
From the Sami Abdul Rahman public park, the play shifted to the journalists' guild headquarters and went on to the ministry of religious affairs before concluding in front of parliament, all with the audience in tow.
"The mother symbolises the homeland, she symbolises the nation, and all holy sites that need to be protected," said Ibrahim, adding that the younger man represented the Kurdish people.
"Through this play, I wanted to speak to the community, to tell them that we are not going to have anything left if we forget about our homeland, if we forget our attempts to promote community," added Ibrahim.
His last play two years ago dealt with religious co-existence in Kurdistan.
In "Qabristan", the unnamed young hero eventually encounters the older woman during his quest. After arriving in front of Kurdistan's parliament, the pair run into a group of men who refuse to let them continue with their enquiries.
They declare that the youth cannot go further, saying, "Everything is in our hands -- we control everyone, things move only after we give orders."
The young hero then responds: "My mother is not like you -- my mother does not crave positions, my mother does not impose her power on others, she is not from your class!"
All the while, the men physically force the older woman to move according to their instructions.
The scenes are a direct commentary on the dominance in the autonomous region, comprised of three provinces in Iraq's north, of two political parties that have been led by the same two men for decades.
The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and the Kurdistan Democratic Party of regional president Massud Barzani (and before him his father Mustafa) have lorded over the region since it gained a degree of autonomy in the 1970s.
"We have tried, through this theatrical production, to shed light on some of the problems that are prevalent in our society," said Sayeh Hussein, who plays the woman searching for her son.
While the region is widely seen as safer than the rest of Iraq, several instances of intimidation against critics of the government have been recorded.
In the worst such incident, a young journalist was killed last year after satirising Massud Barzani, though authorities in Kurdistan reject accusations that they had anything to do with his death.
No trouble was recorded on Wednesday evening, as Ibrahim staged his play, but security forces were present throughout.
Audience members gave "Qabristan" a thumbs-up, with theatre director and critic Fadhel al-Jaff highlighting the play's contemporary theme and critique.
"This is an important change, it is important that theatre here becomes more contemporary and deals with contemporary issues," he said following the performance.
"The content of the play deals with important issues in Kurdish life, topics which individual Kurds and the community at large suffer from."
Kurdish filmmaker Nasser Hassan chimed in, describing the production as "a brave move," while women's rights activist Taman Shakir said that it gave a realistic picture of the Kurdish community in Iraqi Kurdistan.
"It gives a realistic portrayal of what is happening today, of the political conflicts and problems that exist now," she said.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
News From Across The Stans
Three German soldiers shot dead at Afghan base
Berlin (AFP) Feb 18, 2011
Three German soldiers were killed and six others wounded Friday when a man in Afghan army uniform opened fire at a NATO base in northern Afghanistan, authorities said. The shooting at the base in the Puli Khumri district of Baghlan province occurred as troops carried out maintenance on a vehicle, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said. A man in Afghan uniform sh ... read more
Knesset urges $1.4 billion Iron Dome buy|
Surface Combat Systems Center Tests Aegis BMD Capabilities
Boeing And Northrop Grumman Submit Proposal For Missile Defense Competitive Contract
LockMart-Raytheon Team Submits Proposal For GMD Contract
Lockheed Martin Receives $34.5 Million Contract For Paveway II Plus Laser Guided Bomb Kits
Pakistan test fires Babur cruise missile
DSS Awards Raytheon Missile Systems' Tucson Site First Superior Security Rating
Iran tests anti-ship missiles
AeroVironment Develops World's First Fully Operational Life-Size Hummingbird-Like Unmanned Aircraft for DARPA
New wing tests for carrier drone
Mumbai police to get unmanned drones to fight terror: report
New 3G Communications System Demonstrates Ability to Stream Video to Ground
Russian defense satellite in wrong orbit
Boeing To Demonstrate High-Technology, Low-Risk Solutions At AFA Air Warfare Symposium
USAF Selects Northrop Grumman To Research SOA IT For Integrated Air And Space Command And Control
Boeing Tests New Ka-band SATCOM Antenna System
A Device Enables The Remote Explosion Of Improvised Land-Mines
Boeing EA-18G Growlers Deployed by US Navy
Raytheon Conducts Free-Flight Demonstration Of JSOW-C From F-16IN
Northrop Grumman Wins US Marine Corps Common Aviation Command and Control System Contract
Western arms makers eye lucrative Mideast market
Brazil delays jet deal
Xue loses Chinese appeal in spying case
Gulf expo could boost Mideast arms sales
US top military officer visits Gulf amid Arab revolts
Taiwan cardinal eyes China-Vatican dialogue
Mideast unrest puts US military access in jeopardy
US: Troops' move depends on Japan
Yale scientists build 'anti-laser'
'Air laser' could find bombs at a distance
ONR Achieves Milestone In Free Electron Laser Program
US Office Of Naval Research Achieves Milestone
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|