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Iraqi TV

al-Sharqiya television channel
al-Sharqiya television channel

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.’

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