Monday, April 02, 2007

Mesopotamian Idol

Friday, March 30, 2007... the day Iraqis united.

After making it to the finals of "Star Academy", a Lebanese TV show that is called the Arab world's version of "American Idol", Shada Hassoun emerged victorious over her competition with 40.63% of the vote. Born in Morocco and educated in France, her father is Iraqi which makes her Iraqi too. And so, despite never having set foot in Iraq, she has been adopted by Iraqis as a symbol of National Unity. Says the Washington Post:
"Sunnis and Shiites will unite with your victory!" read one text message, sent by a viewer, that scrolled across the screen Friday during a pre-show telecast on Iraq's al-Sharqiya satellite channel. "You are the one who unites all of Iraq, from North to South, from the Tigris to the Euphrates!"
Even though nobody knows for sure whether she is Sunni or Shiite, both sides have claimed her. I generally reserve my sarcastic comments for a few choice commentors who really deserve it, but I can't resist on this: how funny would it be if she turns out to be Jewish?? I only say that in jest- no harm meant.

But the Iraqis backed her in a big way, sending over 7 million votes her way from their cell phones. Heck, the United Iraqi Alliance only got a bit over 5 million votes in the election.

Here she is:



In my opinion this is great news for Iraq and Iraqis, who can use any kind of gesture of unity right now and any diversion from the violence and instabilty wracking their country. So in my opinion, this is a great thing. Several Iraqi bloggers have weighed in on this, too.

Zeyad @ Healing Iraq posts "Daughter of Mesopotamia" unites Iraqis.
He just posts a few links and pictures, but seems happy about it (one link is titled "Shada Hassoun succeded where Iraqi politicians failed").

Baghdad Treasure posts "You are the one who unites all of Iraq" with a picture and congratualtory link.

Iraqi Konfused Kid posts "
Daughter of My Ass". He's a little... um... less happy about it. Example:
"I must say that it is with a feeling of pure and utter disgust that I feel I have to include such cotton-candy corporate whoredom show on my blog. and this contempt is now only compounded by the recent manufactured event of having the winner of the show, an Iraqi of Moroccan mother who's spent almost all of her life in France, to win the show and be trumpeted as the symbol of Iraq's unity. I could almost feel the blobs of vomit boiling up right now."
Marshmallow26 posts "Shatha :Star Academy 4 winner"
She's happy:
"Congratulations and million hugs to you Shatha, you improved your worthiness...Your Iraqi brothers and sisters’ votes crowned you the STAR. Yap...Yesterday was one of my best days ever!! I really jumped, laughed cried and felt happy from the bottom of my heart..."
Nibras @ Talisman Gate posts "Shada, Shada, Shada". He's happy for two reasons:
"1-She reinforces Iraqi identity
...
2-She successfully markets herself as a role model of the secularized and westernized modern Iraqi female"

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By the way, Truth Teller is posting again after a hiatus over at A Citizen of Mosul. Nothing about Star Academy yet though.

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