Iraqi Art and the Occupation

An Associated Press piece, about the relationship between Iraqi art (mostly visual) and the U.S.-led occupation, has been circulating through world newspapers. (You’ve surely already read it; I’m still traveling and behind.)

I was particularly interested in the snippet about thirty-year-old Omar al-Saray, who writer Hamza Hendawi said is “already a prize-winning poet, published literary critic, popular college lecturer and chairman of Baghdad’s prestigious Society of Iraqi Poets.”

Hendawi excerpts a 2005 poem of Saray’s, titled “Locks of Hair from the Staircase of Sorrows” (translator unclear):

So, God, in the name of war

We pray and recite your neglected names

We know that no paradise of peace will open its gates, even late

And that our dreams are locked

We have death, we have death, we have what explodes and what kills.

Read more.