Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Diversity of Iraq as seen on Iraqi TV

I am often surprised at how much people misunderstand about the Middle East. For example, when I mention not all women in the Middle East, not even all Muslim women, wear the scarf or even dress like me, I am always met with shock - if not out-right claims that I am lying.

Despite the Middle East only making up 20% or less of the total 1.6 Billion Muslim population in the world, somehow the Middle East has become the poster child for all things Muslim.

It is a big responsibility with many obstacles. The main obstacles being 1) assumptions made about the Middle East based on generalizations and limited images on television, and 2) misinformation deliberately publicized for various political, religious, and personal agendas.

Muslims, and even others who have traveled to the Middle East, have been trying for years to correct the misinformation through information, statistics, and logic - with very little success.

Today, while watching the New Year's countdown celebrations around the world on an Iraqi television station, it occurred to me that actual pictures, specifically live television programs, might be more effective.

These (approximately 2 minute) videos show the reality of what Iraq looks like and how the Iraqi people are not only celebrating New Year's Eve, but how they dress and look and act - their diversity.

Warning: For most people these images will be quite shocking.

Baghdad Park - getting ready for New Year's Eve celebrations, Part 1

Baghdad Park - getting ready for New Year's Eve celebrations, Part 2

Baghdad Hotel - getting ready for New Year's Eve celebrations

Iraqi Musician & Singer

Iraqi Musician

Dubai New Year's Eve Fireworks, Part 1

Dubai New Year's Eve Fireworks, Part 2

Iraqi TV Music Videos

Baghdad Streets

Tigris River in Baghdad

Baghdad Police on the street, New Year's Eve 2015

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