Local Art Show Paints Bright Picture for Iraq’s Future
|May 21, 2010||Filled under All Dinar Trade Articles|
BAGHDAD — The room was boiling hot because of all the people.
A canvas of variety, it was filled with people from many walks of life; sheiks, Iraqi Security Force soldiers, local Iraqi businessmen and businesswomen, U.S. Soldiers, American civilians, Iraqi children. Such different ways of life, yet everyone was smiling and talking amongst each other like friends. What brought them all together would have been unheard of a few years ago but because of the progress and stability in the area was able to go off without hitch.
An art show.
May 15-16 in Doura saw the home of local civic leader and cardiologist Muayad Muslih Hamad al-Jabori transformed into a gallery, highlighting the talent of artists from across Iraq. The walls were lined with paintings; some loud, vibrant portraits of people dancing, others more somber, seeming to reflect the past years of hardship and war.
But the show was more a symbol of the progress Iraq is making than a reflection of the past.
“This art show is not so much about solving other problems but building relationships between our friends and our brothers,” said Maisoon Kalaf, who was in charge of the Sons of Iraq soldiers securing the area for the show. “We all hope things will get better, and relationships like Dr. Muayad’s with the American Soldiers help with that.”
Muayad has been working with U.S. forces since the initial surge into Iraq in 2003.
As coalition forces cleared houses through his neighborhood in Eastern Rasheed and secured the area, he was described by Lt. Col. Kirk Dorr, the 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment commander, as one of the few civic leaders who stood up and said, “Americans, you want to get in these neighborhoods and stabilize this area? I will help you.” He lent a hand to the American forces when they had no local contacts, didn’t speak any of the language and were growing desperate, helping them to gain some traction and push forward into the Baghdad area.
Now, Muayad is doing his part to work with coalition forces to rebuild the same area he watched get taken over by insurgents years ago.
“We start by building the relationship between the locals and the Americans,” said Muayad. “The next step is building the relationship between the locals and the government, the national police, and the army. It’s a long-term story. The Americans show to the people that as they leave, there is still…(more story)
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