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“The Many Colors of IRAQ”

MESOPOTAMIA Art Gallery, Ferndale, Michigan - April 14th - May 18th

What is the realty nowadays in Iraq and who really are the Iraqi people, these two questions can be answered through various ways, one of which is the power of art. Throughout human history art has been the true mirror of all nations. That is still the case today, and it will continue to be so in the future.

Mesopotamia Art, History & Beyond, Inc. is a learning studio and art gallery that specializes in the field of visual arts and Mesopotamian history. For years it has been dedicated to trying to answer the above questions about Iraq and its people by showcasing the art works of a carefully selected high-profile of professional native Iraqi artists (Chaldeans, who are Christian-Iraqis) and some of their fellow Iraqi artists in the areas of modern and contemporary Mesopotamian visual arts.

On the occasion of AKITU 7307k the ancient Mesopotamian Chaldean New Year Festival (April 1-11), Mesopotamia Art Gallery held an art exhibition entitled The Many Colors of IRAQ between April 14th and May 18th of 2007. The exhibit was intended to end on April 28th. However, due to the request of numerous new visitors who took great interest in this particular exhibit, the directors of the gallery decided to extend the show until May 18th, which is only one day after the date Chaldeans celebrate their National Flag Day.

Beside the primary show ("The Many Colors of IRAQ"), Bassel Odish the owner of BO studio for the art of stamps which is located at the Mesopotamia Compound, took this opportunity to show a variety of his art works which is made from original old stamps. The show also included a life traditional music on Oud by the prominent musician Raad Barakat.

The Chaldean New Year (AKITU) was a major festival in ancient Mesopotamia. The first city that started celebrating Akitu was ERIDU, the first capital of the Proto-Chaldeans since 5300 BC. This festival is now considered a Chaldean National Celebration that is shared by all the Chaldean political parties as well as the cultural and social organizations all over the world. (Mesopotamia Art Gallery) started celebrating Akitu since 2005. To learn more about the gallery and its part in AKITU Festival, kindly visit us at: www.mesopotamiaartgallery.com.

The May 18th closing ceremony was one of the most successful shows the gallery has yet experienced. Covering the show were more than 15 different types media, from TV stations to magazines and newspapers, along with many web-site representatives. They interviewed the artists as well as selective individuals from the tremendous audience who had attended. The media that covered the show were as follows:
Ishtar Satellite TV
Iraqi Chaldean American TV (ICA TV)
Chaldean Voice Radio
Voice of Tomorrow Radio (ICA - Saut Al-Ghad)
Middle-East Radio
Chaldean News Magazine
The Truth Magazine
The Harp Magazine
Voice of Substituted Home Magazine (Saut AlBMahjar)
The Sun Magazine
Chaldean Detroit Times Paper
Sun of Freedom (Shems Al-Hurreya Paper)
Voice of Freedom Paper (Saut Al-Hurreya)
The Truth Paper
Akkad Paper (Canada)
Nineveh Paper (Canada)
Major Chaldean & Other Iraqi Web-sites

The diverse art works were paintings, sculptures, graphics (Print-Makes), ceramics - terra cotta, and Raku, all achieved by nearly twenty five well-known Iraqi professional artists. The participants included the pioneer artist Issa Hanna Dabish, the notable pioneer artists, from the 60's Generation, Ali Talib, M.Muheraddin, Ismaeel Khyyat. Other artists were the late awesome artists Khuder Jirgees (1939-2006) and Ziad M. Haider (1954-2006). There were also artists from the USA as well as overseas. Among the most prominent ones are Farouk Kaspaules (Canada), M. H. Abdulla (Spain), Burhan Saleh Kirkukly (Holland). The list also included Fadhel Tuama, Mahmood Al-Ubidy, Mazin Elia Sha'awi, Qais Issa Al Sindy, Roche Binyamen, Wissam Marqus (IRAQ), Josef Yousif, Joanne Yono, Alaa Hermiz, Sulafa Roumayah, Sam selou, Suzan Jadan and Zuhair Sha'ouni (USA). Finally, there were art works by the directors of the art gallery; the talented writer and visual artist Lavon Ammori and the visual artist and historian Amer Hanna Fatuhi.

It is also worth mentioning that Mesopotamia A. H. & B. received many praising e-mails, mails and phone calls from notable people, i.e., the Iraqi Cultural Attaché Dr. Abdulhadi Al-Khalili esq., Mr. Ramzi Dalloo, (Chairman of CDC) and others.

In addition to that, many other Iraqi and ethnic Chaldean parties, along with cultural and social organizations attend this event through their chairmen and executives, i.e.,: Amer Jamil and Kamal Yaldo (Iraqi Democratic Union), Dr. David Ayoub (Iraqi American House), Farid Matti (Kurdish Democratic Party - Yakti), Hamid Murad (Iraqi Human Rights), Qais Sako, Fawzy Delly, Sahir Yaldo, & Shawqi Kunja (Chaldean Democratic Forum), Mr. Yaldo & Kunjo also represent Chaldean Voice Radio. Academic and educators who attend that event include: Professor Shakir Jirjees, Weam Namo (Novelist), Sue Madonna (Linguistics), Georges Mardo (Writer & Chaldean activist).

* The exhibition was supported in part by:
International Chaldean Association of Art (ICA Org.) www.chaldeanart.com
Chaldean Flag Gifts-shop www.chaldeanflag.com
Dr. David Ayoub, Michigan Community Financial Services
ICA Media, Inc., TV, Radio, Paper, & Print-shop
The Chaldean Educational Center of America CECA, www.chaldean4u.org

Amer Fatuhi, Senior Art Director
Painter, Art Critic, & Historian, Member of IAA
The International Association of Professional Artists / Paris

Revised by: Weam Namo Yatoma

Published on Chaldean Detroit Times (Friday, June 1st , 2007 / Issue # 367)