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Re: [IRAQHistory] History of Iraq -- PLEASE Evaluate it

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  • Umm Zannobiya
    Dear Wafaa, George and Richard, Thank you all for the videos and commentary you provided. I was hoping that this discussion about IRAQ s history as presented
    Message 1 of 138 , Aug 17, 2007
      Dear Wafaa, George and Richard,
      Thank you all for the videos and commentary you provided.
      I was hoping that this discussion about IRAQ's history as
      presented in the documentary would continue.  Yours, Wafaa,
      was the last email I had received. 
      I hope that my note will provoke the interest of others on this list
      especially the historians.
      Umm Zannobiya

      Wafaa' Al-Natheema <aboutfromiraq@...> wrote:
      Thank you, George, for forwarding the video clips on IRAQ's history.
      I have seen documentary before you posted it to this group and was very disappointed
      with the documentation.
      I hope that others who are knowledgeable on history watch the documentary
      (see links below) and evaluate it.  I particularly encourage Mudhafar Amin as 
      one of the historians within this group to share his feedback about the documentary
      film you've forwarded to us.  I am also ccing this note to other Iraqis who are not
      subscribers of this history group in case they like to watch the film (see below)
      and want to evaluate it.  I also encourage them to join this history group.
      Thank you, Richard, so much for taking the time to evaluate part I of this
      documentary. I fully agree with you on all the points you've presented.  I was
      particularly concerned about the cheap theatrical scenes narrating the past.  As
      if what was being written in books or said by people through the generations
      about the wars and killing were all not enough, we have to watch the savagry scenes detailed in colors!!
      The documentary has been produced in a typical MALE-STYLE documentation
      of history whereby glory and magnificence are measured by the size of the empire
      and army, the numbers of fighters and the length of one's rule, and whereby nothing
      else, but politics, wars and MALE figures are documented.  This is why WOMEN
      are desparately needed to not just document history with their male
      colleagues in their style, but to REWRITE IT.
      Also the documentary completely neglects the mention of King Ghazi's era and
      the Iran-Iraq war!!!  Not to mention that it concludes with images and commentary 
      that represent the EPITOME of PROPAGANDA
      I am saddened that IRAQIS still find these western documentary films valuable
      enough to be posted on youtube for all to see and be brainwashed with many
      errors, stereotypes and propaganda.  I am worried about those who don't know
      IRAQ's history well.  They will take this film's information for granted.
      Best Regards,
      Wafaa' Al-Natheema

      Richard Sullivan <richardsullivan1942 @...> wrote:
      Dear George:
      Thank you so much for bringing attention to this video, which sadly been posted over the Internet.
      I am sure Wafaa will get to evaluate it with more details, but I hope other historians and knowledgeable people within this group watch it critically and evaluate it.  There is also a need that such a detailed evaluation or opinion survey be distributed to people with knowledge about the history of IRAQ and hopefully report back to us.
      I am assuming that the makers/producers of this documentary are British, please correct me if I am wrong.  When it comes to Arabs, Middle Easterners and Moslems, the British are not a good source and their analogy and documentation must NOT be taken for granted.  Of course, we, in the USA, are no better, but the British have been committing historic errors in terms of interpreting and documenting historic events and characters much longer us in the States.  Their school of propaganda is QUITE rich and sophisticated.
      PLEASE note that I watched part I and was disappointed, so I did not continue watching the other parts.
      Here are some of the problems with part I :
      1. No mention whatsoever of Sumeria!!
      2. Our western, and in this case, British style of interpretation is being documented as a fact:  i.e. because Sargon was called "The legitimate," this is meant as a hint that he was actually a "bastard" as the term used by the narrator.  Ignoring the possibility that it may have other interpretation related to that culture and customs at that time.  It has been evaluated from our own current and western perception.
      3. The theatrical scenes depicting the historic events were a turn off in this documentary and the insistance of showing blood and savagry was again interpreted by our own western imagination of how the ancients may have acted and reacted.
      When Wafaa and I talked, she had the same observations about part I and actually other criticisms. 
      So I hope others within this group will step in and evaluate this documentary film in more depth.
      Thanks again, George, for providing it.
      Richard Sullivan

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    • Wafaa' Al-Natheema
      Thank you, all, for your participation in the discusion and in providing the information. I may not be able to comment on everything being presented, so I will
      Message 138 of 138 , Feb 28, 2008
        Thank you, all, for your participation in the discusion and in providing
        the information.
        I may not be able to comment on everything being presented, so I will
        follow up later:
        Walaa', thank you so much for starting a Wikipedia account.  Indeed some
        advance matters related to editing and discussion in Wikipedia need further learning.
        I agree with you completely on the fact that we should create a team of those who
        are Savy on the Internet world and programming to help us make our writing/editing task
        easier and most importantly effective.
        Indeed, the CIA has been reported to tamper with information on Wikipedia and
        those who maintain it found out from the IP code.  A couple of articles were being
        circled on the internet last year about this matter.
        George,  many thanks to you for providing the information about Rumi.  It was
        a mistake (and I don't know why I wrote it) to state that RUMI lived in Balkh,
        Afghanistan all through his teen years.  Indeed his family left (with him) when he was
        a young child; some sources indicate only that, others specify that his age was
        five or six.  He was born in 1207 CE (604 hijriya - Islamic year). 
        Rita and Amr, thank you for your interest in Jabir bin Hayyan al-Kufi.  Being an
        Iraqi born and raised, his accomplishments should be highlighted here as he
        is the most suitable (of all the previously mentioned scholars: RUMI, al-Farabi
        and Ibn Sina) for our group's purpose.
        Thanks again,
        Wafaa' Al-Natheema


        Rita C-S <cohen_sharaf@...> wrote:
        Thank you so much, Wafaa', George and others, for this oceanic information and interesting reading.
        I too got involved in reading over the Internet about Avicenna, Al-Kufi and Rumi.  Both Avicenna
        and especially Rumi are popular in the west.
        About your information, George, I think you forgot to mention Damascus as one of the cities
        Rumi's family had visited and lived in for some time before they settled in Qunia.  But due to my

        Arab pharmacist husband, we both would like to study this great chemist, Jabir b. Hayan Al-Kufi,
        who is sadly unknown in western popular culture!   Also English speakers who
        don't know Arabic may not know what "Khalife" means (which is used in George's note).  It is usually
        written "Caliph", which means 'successor'. 
        I hope the information and discussion attract some interest in other subscribers in this group to learn about him

        and share their knowledge, discuss al-Kufi or make inquiry about him.
        Thanks again for activating this group AGAIN,
        Best Wishes,
        Rita Cohen-Sharaf

        To: iraqhistory@ yahoogroups. com
        From: georgemichael1956@ hotmail.com
        Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2008 19:09:27 -0500
        Subject: RE: [IRAQHistory] Urgent + Rumi

        Dear Wafaa:
        Your emails for the past two days have been greatly educational and informative.  Thank you so much.
        I have always known Rumi to be Persian and indeed not one English source (and I have four books about his Sufi poetry) mentions his Arab anscestry.  I don't blame you for being concerned and even angry.  So I decided to look into Arabic sources.
        My Arab son-in-law has two volumes on Rumi written by Abdul Salam Kafafi, which detailed his life, education, poetry and wisdom.  In this valuable source, it indicates that Rumi's;
        father's name is Mohammed bin al-Husain al-Khatibi and his lineage goes to the Khalife 
        Abu Bakr al-Siddiq
        mother's name is unavailable, but she was documented as being from the Khawarizm Shah family, which is most probably Persian.
        In this Arabic source, it indeed indicates that his nickname RUMI was given to him because he lived
        most of his Sufi adult life and died in Anatolia (in Greek) or Anadolu (in Turkish). 
        So you are right he should be considered half Arab/half Persian, and right about the fact that he was
        born in Balkh/Afghanistan and died in today's Turkey.
        When Jalalul Dine Rumi was five years old, his father left Balkh to Niasapur, then to Baghdad and later to Mecca, then they left to Larand, and finally settled in Konya (also spelled Qunia), which is in Anadolu, today's Turkey and died there. 
        What was interesting in this new piece of information that you provided, and thank you indeed, was
        that when both my son-in-law and I googled his name in English, we found not on written article indicating
        that his father was an Arab or that he was an Arab or Afghani (due to his birth and early childhood). 
        We were surprised to even find this article in Arabic on Islam on line  http://www.islamonl ine.net/arabic/ history/1422/ 08/article24. shtml that according to my son-in-law, it points his birth being in Persia and it does not specify his father's Arabness or mentions his name.  In fact it states,
        "it has been said that his family goes back to Khalife Abu Bakr al-Siddiq."  Using "it has been said" does not necessarily make it factual information.  Yet it does not use the same terminology "it has been said" with pointing the name of his mother's family/clan, insteadit provides it as a fact!  
        When he explained to me these different uses, I remembered the language they used in English to argue al-Farabi's origin in the link you provided.  They provided sources for his Persian origin, yet for his Turkic origin,
        they used the term "claim"
        We too googled the Iraqi Arab chemist guru and could find nothing about him on Wikipedia in both Arabic and English.  I read few pages about his accomplishments in other English sources and was very, very impressed
        by his discoveries, which we, the public, know nothing about here in the USA.
        Thanks again,
        George Michael

        To: IRAQHistory@ yahoogroups. com
        From: aboutfromiraq@ yahoo.com
        Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2008 08:09:38 -0800
        Subject: Re: [IRAQHistory] Urgent + Welcoming New Member

        Dear Ellen:
        Thank you so much for forwarding my email to Audrey.
        I hope you forwarded the other email I sent yesterday under the subject title of
        "Urgent -- Save History" and not the one with subject title "..+ Welcoming New Member". 
        In that other one, and I hope you received it, you will read that I was not only concerned about the Arab or Iraqi origin of Islamic scholars, but MOSTLY about Persianization; relating every great thing and person to Persia with no concrete evidence, but propaganda, claims and favoriticism.
        Because Ibn Sina and al-Farabi are not known whether they have came in
        from Arab or Persian parents, to claim them Persians is INVALID.  They
        both were born and raised in areas far from today's Iran, such as Afghanistan
        and Uzbekistan.  Yet westerners, who favor Persians over Arabs, and Iranians
        (and some Indians and Pakistanis) would commit Persianization in their
        I have been concerned and angry at the writers and historians in the east and west who claimed RUMI to be Persian including the Indian infamous doctor (living in the USA) Deepak Chopra when he published a book of poetry on Rumi.  This categorization is beyond DEADLY WRONG.  The man was born and raised during his childhood and teenage years in Balkh, Afghanistan.  His father was a reputable Arab, known to be a wise religious man, and [RUMI] had lived a large chunk of his life between Baghdad, Damascus and Mecca and then lived for many years and died in a city in today's Turkey.  His mother was rarely mentioned in documentation, historic sources and there is descrapencies about her origin, YET HE IS CONSIDERED PERSIAN JUST BECAUSE HIS MOTHER MAY HAVE BEEN PERSIAN AND THAT HE WROTE MOST OF HIS IMPORTANT WORK IN PERSIAN LANGUAGE.  This is nothing, but corrupted history documentation.  Even if his mother was a Persian, he should not be considered PERSIAN only, he would be categorized as half Persian/half Arab. 
        The contradiction is that we live in a male-dominated world whereby the religion and ethnicity of the father is SUPERIOR to that of the mother (which personally I disagree with
        and don't think it is fair) and passes to the offsprings, yet this rule is true with all, but not with Arabs.  If the mother is anything else, her background counts.  That is how much discrediting and discrimination have been taken place with regard to Arabs.  In fact in the 20/21 centuries, the nationality (not the ethnicity) of a person is being determined by the location (city and country) in which the person is born.  Knowing where Rumi was born, shouldn't he be considered an Afghani?   Perhaps an Afghani of Arab descent? Or because there majesty the industrial west is at war with Afghanistan, then it is fine to slash them out from history pages!!
        I hope you forwarded the other email to Audrey, which is entitled "Urgent -- Save History".
        All I hope from those who spend so many hours of their time on the Internet is to spend 15 to 20 minutes daily monitoring Wikipedia, and at least the links that I have provided yesterday, which requires serious editing, and perhaps other links related to the subject matter of Iraqis and the history of Iraq.
        Thanks again for forwarding my email,
        Wafaa' Al-Natheema

        EWasfi@... wrote:
        Dear Wafaa',
        I have forwarded your concerns about information available on Arab women musicians in pre-and-post Islam as well as on the Arab origins of Moslem polymaths and scholars to Audrey Shabbas of Arab World and Islamic Resources and School Services (AWAIR), based in California. Hopefully, she has access to resources which can be of assistance.  I have know Audrey for many years and at one time I contributed to a chapter on the role of women in Islamic Spain in a volume she edited called "A Medieval Banquet at the Alhambra Palace." I believe I have mentioned her name to you in the past.
        I hope this is a fruitful connection.

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