Columbia News Video Forum

Accessing the 'Axis of Evil'; Middle East Asian Languages, Culture Offers Insight into the People, Culture, Heritage of Iraq

George El-Hage, George Saliba, Richard Garfield and Zainab Bahrani reflect on the people, culture and heritage of Iraq, describing daily life and offering excerpts of poems, music, academic advancements and historical perspectives in an event sponsored by Middle East Asian Languages and Culture.

George El-Hage
George El-Hage

El-Hage Reflects on Life of Exiled Iraqi Poet Badr Shakir al-Sayyab
George El-Hage, Arabic studies lecturer, reads "Hymn of the Rain" by Badr Shakir al-Sayyab in both English and the original Arabic. Al-Sayyab was the founder of Arabic free verse and lived a life of exile, suffering and redemption, El-Hage recounts.

Real (21:55)Video
George Saliba
George Saliba

Saliba Highlights Academic Advancements Originating in Iraq
George Saliba, Middle East and Asian languages and cultures professor, describes the major advances in mathematics, astronomy and medicine that he says "owe their birth to the city of Baghdad." The lecture is highlighted by Saliba's use of ancient scholarly texts and interesting anecdotes.

Real (19:18)Video
Improvisations on Iraqi Melodies

Taoufik Ben-Amor, Kamran Rastegar, Johnny Farraj Offer 'Improvisations on Iraqi Melodies'

Real (21:07)Video
Richard Garfield
Richard Garfield

Iraq's Limited Resources Are Often Used Inefficiently, Says Garfield
Richard Garfield, Bendixen Professor of Clinical International Nursing, says that despite a shortage of resources in Iraq, the available resources are often used in areas where they are least effective. As society becomes more economically disadvantaged, they are becoming more focused on religion, he says, and the secular government is trying to establish a political alliance with religious authorities.

Real (21:59)Video
Zainab Bahrani
Zainab Bahrani

Iraq Is a World Cultural Heritage Site, Says Bahrani
"The entirety of Iraq is a world cultural heritage site and there is no way that a strategic bombing can avoid something archaeological," says Zainab Bahrani, associate professor of art history and archaeology. She says Iraq is the "cradle of civilization," and is dotted with artifacts of the urban revolution of 4,000 B.C. as well as other cultural advances.

Real (18:37)Video

Shot: Oct 07, 2002
Published: Dec 02, 2002
Last modified:Dec 02, 2002