Tuesday, 22 May 2007

A glimmer of hope?

Baghdad- Ever since good old uncle Sam decided to liberate Iraq's vast oil reserves and test his latest billion dollar weapons, we have become accustomed to dreading the dark news that manages to seep out of the carefully controlled green zone and into our shocked living rooms on a nightly basis.
Roadside bombings, suicide bombings, missing money, massacres, rape, torture and out of control mercenaries, we have seen it all in recent times and still day after day the Vietnamesque images continue to come.

At a time when even the most rabid spittle flecked Neocons are slowly starting to desert the sinking President's ill conceived attempts at corporate empire, I decided to scour the Iraqi capital in search of an uplifting news story that gives the Iraqis and indeed the world a small glimmer of light to head towards.

My interpreter and I drove at high speeds through the pock marked and deserted streets of the capital towards the "quiet" Baghdad suburb of Alyamnhya, which before the sudden and deadly arrival of peace and democracy was a well to do suburb containing some of Baghdad's finest houses and none of the rubble which mysteriously abounds today.
After more than an hours drive from the relative safety of the green zone, we arrived at the gates of a large colonial era villa set back from the quiet road. We waited patiently as two AK47 wielding guards cautiously opened the gates and allowed us to cruise into the large compound.

The villa is the impressive home of prewar Baghdad's most famous film maker Yusuf Ali Khan, famous throughout the middle east for his poetic homages to colour, form and the timeless images of nomadic desert life.
Mr Khan greeted me warmly and as we sat and drank tea among the date trees and bougainvillea of his sedate garden, he began to tell me of his latest venture into the world of film.

Between sips of sweet tea Mr Khan excitedly told me of his latest project "I am very happy with the latest film, its in post production at the moment and I think 'Baghdad buggery' may be even better than 'Sadr city sluts', fingers crossed!"
When I asked him why he had suddenly switched his artistic direction he declared that "This is what people want in a western style democracy, they no longer need the quiet reflections on desert life to spiritually sustain them through the depths of dictatorship.
What people need now is double penetration and close up money shots of the hairiest Muslim sluts in the Islamic world. A film maker must change and grow with his audience or become irrelevant."
Mr Khan's latest projects have made him considerably richer and he says that since the gun point implementation of American values upon the liberated Iraqi population, he has come to see that "Money is the real god of the world and art has no real value except the price someone is willing to pay to own it."

After saying my farewells and beginning my high speed journey back to the green zone, I reflected on how not everything in Baghdad is as bleak as the cynics like to paint it and that there do indeed seem to be some green shoots of recovery showing through the barren desert sands.
The Iraqi peoples struggle to freedom and democracy will be long and hard, but I believe men like Yusuf Ali Khan have the will and the vision to lead Baghdad from its current nightmare into the loving arms of Coca cola freedom and corporate peace.

1 comment:

paisley said...

we know sex sells....and nothing like a captive market!!!!!!