TV comedies are popular in Iraq. The Ramadan series Hurry Up, He’s Dead! (appearing on al-Sharqiya, 2006) was probably watched by almost every Iraqi within and outside the country. The show’s name is a joke in itself: the title first appears on the screen as The Government, but the word is then split in half, producing an Iraqi slang phrase that means, Hurry Up, He’s Dead. The series was filmed in Dubai for security reasons, but the show’s script-writer, Talib al-Sudani, still lives in Baghdad.
Another series (also on al-Sharqiya) was called Caricatures, which mocked the day’s news. It became one of the most popular shows in Iraq.
TV entertainment in Iraq now seems an even more dangerous practice than it was under the former regime. ‘Under Saddam,’ says well-known comedian Jasim Sharaf, ‘we couldn’t mention God, Saddam, his family, or his ministers. But we were more or less tolerated. Today, a mere slip of the tongue will surely send you to the morgue rather than to a prison.’
We would like to ask you something …
Fanack is an independent media organisation, not funded by any state or any interest group, that distributes in the Middle East and the wider world unbiased analysis and background information, based on facts, about the Middle East and North Africa.
The website grew rapidly in breadth and depth and today forms a rich and valuable source of information on 21 countries, from Morocco to Oman and from Iran to Yemen, both in Arabic and English. We currently reach six million readers annually and growing fast.
In order to guarantee the impartiality of information on the Chronicle, articles are published without by-lines. This also allows correspondents to write more freely about sensitive or controversial issues in their country. All articles are fact-checked before publication to ensure that content is accurate, current and unbiased.