Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Tricky Iraqi National Anthem: Its History & The Four Languages

The House of Representatives in Iraq failed to bring to a vote an approved new Iraqi item. The one thing which derailed the bill is minorities asking to include something of their language into the national anthem. The Iraqi Kurd wants something in Kurdish, both the Armen and Turkmen of Iraq also want something from their mother tongue and so does the Armen. Arabic stems to be no longer the acceptable language of Iraq no more. The disagreement stems from the 10 years old policy of power-sharing and quota system that has been in affect.

The current proposal recommends choosing a portion of one of thee Iraqi poems (Mohammad Mahdy Al Jawary محمد مهدي الجواهري), (Badr Shaker Al Syyab بدر شاكر السياب ), and (Mohammad Mahdy Al Baseer  محمد مهدي البصير)  It also proposes a one line poem from the Kurdish language and the anthem will end with Long Lives Iraq. If this bill fails, the entire national anthem will be in Arabic with the end Long Live Iraq sang in all these other languages.

The vote on the national anthem will be delayed, which led members of the Parliament to conclude, "we do not have a definition of our national identity--to which we are meant to make sacrifices" The last minute bit by the Turkmen and Ayzidi to incorporate their languages into the national anthem. The proposed national anthem is in both Arabic and Kurdish. Up to that point, there was a conscientious on the bill among the representatives. However, due to the new request, voting will be delayed.

This is lame because there are more than 200 languages spoken in America, yet the national anthem is in plain English. It would be a crime to try to add another elements to it to please certain groups that has pride in its mother tongue. If those politicians won't agree on the language, how would they agree on the strategic stuff? The national anthem is pretty important and the debate around it is crucial because it helps define and shape modern Iraq. But this debate has been going on for more than nine years, mind you. In less than a decade, Iraq went through five national anthems.

  1. 1921-1958 Iraq's King Faisal had a royal anthem
  2. 1958-1963 The Anthem became a republican one "MawTTny" My Homeland
  3. 1963-1981 The Bath Party used an Egyptian poem and composed by Kamal Al Taweel "Wa Allah Zaman Ya SlaHy","Long Time My Weapon"
  4. 1981-2003 The new anthem "Wattan Mada Ala Alofiq JanaHan" written by the Iraqi poet Shafeeq Kamaly and composed by Lebanese Waleed Ghalmyah 
  5. 2003-Now The national anthem is MaTTny, the lyrics are those of Palestinian Ibrahim Toqqan who wrote it in 1934.
السلام الملكي العراقي The Iraqi royal Salute

موطني - نشيد العراق موطني ،، علي العبيدي

السلام الجمهوري العراقي - النشيد الوطني


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