Shadow and Light: Honoring Iraqi Academics

Beau Beausoleil, the force behind the “Mutanabbi Street Starts Here” project, is helping launch a new project, Shadow and Light, to honor Iraqi academics assassinated between 2003 and 2012:

From the ‘Mutanabbi Street Starts Here‘ project.

Beausoleil writes:

Several hundred academics were targeted and killed and their names, with a few brief details, have languished in an online list that has haunted me for some time. These killings were similar to the attack on al-Mutanabbi Street, done not just to permanently remove these lecturers and professors, but to also send a message that the very act of teaching, and that who and what should be taught, would be decided by others with their own agendas.

The project is for professional and non-professional photographers alike, he said, and the project is seeking out “artists, writers, poets, activists, image-makers, printers, teachers/academics, translators, and amateur and professional photographers.” The intention is “to take from historical invisibility—-to memorialize and to honor—–the hundreds of academics (lecturers, professors, teachers) that were assassinated in Iraq during the US-led invasion and occupation, during the years 2003-2012.”

Those participating are asked both for photographs and an artist’s statement of up to 400 words. “It’s important to remember that this is a project of art in the service of ideas rather than a work for an art exhibition. Within your statement let us know your ‘point of entry’ for what you are trying to get at or reflect upon with your photograph.”

The list of those assassinated, Beausoleil writes, “is difficult to read and its weight is heavy every time you look through it.” But those who want to participate need to “pick a name and the associated number and send them to me.”

The list can be found at Those interested in participating can contact Beausoleil at

Participants thus far include:

1. Jim Lommasson 8/25/2018- #324. Khalel al-Zahawi [or Khalil al-Zahawi]: Born in 1946, alZahawi was considered the most important calligraphist in Iraq and among the most important in the Arab-Muslim world. He worked as a lecturer in calligraphy in several Arab countries during the 1990s. He was killed 19 May 2007 in Baghdad by a group of armed men. He was buried in Diyalah, where he was born. [Source: BBC News, 22 May 2007. His biography is available on Wikipedia].

2. Beau Beausoleil 8/28/2018 – #32. Mustafa al-Hity: PhD in medicine, pediatrician, College of Medicine, Baghdad University. Assassinated 14 November 2005.

3. Claire Marcus 8/29/2018 – #61. Hamza Shenian: Professor of veterinary surgery at Baghdad University‘s College of Veterinary Medicine. Killed by armed men in his garden in a Baghdad neighborhood 21 June 2006. This was the first known case of a professor executed in the victim‘s home. [Source: CEOSI Iraqi university sources, 21 June 2006].

4. Ama Bolton (UK) 8/29/2018 – #35. Nawfal Ahmad: PhD, lecturer at Baghdad University‘s College of Fine Arts. She was assassinated at the front door of her house on 25 December 2005.

5. Andrea Hassiba – 9/3/2018 – #203. Unidentified female university professor: The professor of law was assassinated in front of her home in the al-Intissar district of western Mosul by unknown gunmen on Tuesday, the local police said. They declined to give her name. [Source: PressTV, April 21, 2009].

6. Laura Russell – 9/3/2018- #240. Karem Mohsen: PhD and lecturer at Department of Agriculture, College of Agronomy, Basra University. Killed 10 April 2006. He worked in the field of honeybee production. Lecturers and students called for a demonstration to protest for his assassination. [Source: al-Basrah, April 11, 2006]

7. Tamsin Smith – 9/5/2018 -#322. Unknown Identity: Specialty and University unknown. On July 14, 2010, unidentified gunmen riding in a car shot a university professor dead as he was leaving his home in the University District, West Baghdad, according to the report of an official security source. [Source: AKnews, July 14, 2010].

8. Elizabeth Bell – 9/17/2018 – #209. Hakim Malik al-Zayadi: PhD in Arabic philology, lecturer in Arabic literature at al-Qadisyia University. Dr. al-Zayadi was born in Diwaniya, and was killed in Latifiya when he was traveling from Baghdad 24 July 2005

9. Mavina Baker (UK) – 9/17/2018 – #245. Kathum Mashhout: Lecturer in edaphology at the College of Agriculture, Basra University. Killed in Basra in December 2006 [exact date unknown]. [Source: CEOSI Iraqi university sources, 12 December 2006].

10. Tariq Dajani (Spain) 9/22/ 2018 -#173. Ibrahim Shaeer Jabbar Al-Jumaili: Pediatrician and professor of Medicine at Kirkuk University. Dr. Ibrahim S.J. Al-Jumaili, 55 years old, was murdered July 22, 2011, after he resisted attempts by four people to kidnap him, police said. [Source: AFP, July 22, 2011].

11. Ines Bell (Germany) 9/24/2018 – #11. Fouad Abrahim Mohammed al-Bayaty: PhD in German philology, professor and head of College of Philology, Baghdad University. Killed Abril 19, 2005.

12. Catherine Cartwright (UK) 9/25/2018 – #271.Mais Ganem Mahmoud: Lecturer at Baquba University. Department and college unknown. Killed at the end of April, according to the Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education. [Source: CEOSI university Iraqi sources, 10 May 2006].

13. Pieretta Sakellariou (Greece) 9/26/2018 – #135. Abdul Sami al-Janabi: Deputy President of the Baghdad University of Technology. Missing after being kidnapped during the third week of January 2007. In 2004, Abdul Sami al-Janabi was dean of al-Mustansiriya University‘s College of Sciences in Baghdad. He resigned from this position after paramilitary forces threatened to kill him.Such forces began then to occupy university centers in the capital.Transferred by the Ministry of Higher Education to a new position to preserve his security, Sami al-Janabi has almost certainly been assassinated. (Source: CEOSI Iraqi university 23 January 2007).

14. Summer Brenner – 10/4/2018 – #71. Jassim al-Assadi’s wife (name unknown): Lecturer at College of Administration and Economy, Baghdad University [Source: CEOSI Iraqi sources and Time Magazine, 2 October 2006].

15. Carl Middleton (U.K) – 10/8/2018 – #197. Unknown: Lecturer at Mosul University killed in the explosion of two car bombs near campus, October 1, 2007. In this attack six other people were injured, among them four students. (Source KUNA, October 1, 2007).