Video Grabs from Hometown Baghdad

Before our webisodes premiere on Monday, I thought I might share a couple of video grabs from the series. I hope that these give a taste of what’s to come. I keep thinking to myself, “The everyday life of regular Iraqis is the great untold story of the Iraq War.” We as Americans know so little about what a 23 year old student does when they get up in the morning. What do laugh at? What are they afraid of? Hopefully, this series will tell these stories. So enjoy the pictures and come back on Monday to hear these Iraqi voices.
Update: At the genius advice of Tish over at Ugotrade, I’ve added an audio clip of the song that is being played in the third video grab down. Click on the picture to hear what has happening when that frame was being captured by our cameras.
Adel playing poolAusama and friends on a rare outing to a restaurant

Click on the picture to hear the song!Saif and friends playing guitar
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39 Responses to “Video Grabs from Hometown Baghdad”

  1. Zaid Says:

    Nice photo….Saif had we noticed that we were under spy camera????? lol …which song we were playing Saif?

  2. Saif Says:

    OMG, I didn’t think the song will be great like this …

  3. Zaid Says:

    Lak Nice recording ….i guess my voice was a little bit abnormal coz i had flu ….but saif really nice playing we ve made …..

  4. Saifedean Says:

    Hi guys,

    This is Saifedean, I am a Palestinian in New York, and I did the translation for some of those parts. That song was amazing, I was replaying it and watching it over and over again. You sing it much much better than Ilham el-Madfai!

    Best of luck with everything,


  5. Zaid Says:

    Thanks Saif Al Deen for the complement….I still remember that day cause when I went back Iraq it was so scary to go out and visit my friends , thats why when I went to Saif’s house we used our time till then end with much activities …..Thank god to have a brother like Saif and others ….
    Regards to my Star ( Kenny Rogers ) the king of country music .

  6. Saif Says:

    Hey Zaid , We should send them a song for Kenny Rogers, We should that. But DAMN We cann’t meet eachother. Anyway We’ll try it online …. lol …

  7. Saif Says:

    How about the Gambler ???

  8. Hussein Ghassan Says:

    Nice song guys.
    Saif is a cool man but he sucks in word racer.

  9. Saif Says:

    Yeah Hussien you are right.
    I cann’t win you more than 1000 points.

  10. Issa Says:

    Hi Saif
    I will never forget the day that we met for the first time in Amman then we traveled to Baghdad, You knew that you had an uncle who had been living in England,since long before you were born but you had never seen him, that was due to the travel restrictions in Iraq.
    During my visit to Baghdad in Aug 2003 life was very uncomfortable for my liking, murders and kidnappers were everywhere so after visiting most of my family and my parents grave I decided to leave Baghdad especially when I got to know that a one of my relatives had been kidnapped.
    Also I had left my wife and my two boys in England.
    So saif I am very proud that you have graduated from Baghdad University (Nice photo and I really enjoyed the song )

  11. Mustafa Alkaissi Says:

    Hi Saif
    i am so glad by seeing u singin the ELHAM ALMADFAI song mit was so nice to hear it from u guys and i was going through this site and i founded so interseting for iraqi our age to have such a good site ,so keep it up cousin and inshllah ill try 2 c u this summer,salam 2 ur family ,wife and all da relatives

  12. Tariq Al-Jarrah Says:

    Hi Saif
    I see this interseting site and I want to tell you congratulation, good job, and the song is so cool.

  13. Zaid Says:

    Let me tell you about the weather that we have made that song in ………………. its was ( On warm summer’s evening and the shooting heared from evrywhere , I met up with Saif and we were both too happy to sing….so we got those two guitars at the window at the darkness ..and the pepsi they brought us and saif begun to speak …he said lets play the gambler i said if you dont mind my saying i can sing the gambler after taste your pepsi and I’ll give you some song cords… he handed me his botel and I drank down his last swallow then he bumbed the cigaret and asked me for the light !!! said if you gonna play the song boy gut to play it right … YOU GOT KNOW WHEN TO HOLD ‘EM KNOW WHEN TO WALK AWAY KNOW WHEN TO RUN…….WE NEVER COUNTED OUR TIME WHEN WE ‘RE SITTIN ON THAT TABLE THERE WAS NO TIME ENOUGH FOR SINGING WHEN THE DAYS WAS DONE ) ………………………………………………….
    lol that was the lyrics of the song ( The Gambler ) by the great star ( Kenny Rogers ) ….but really there was no power so Saif has turned the generator on so as to get light as well as simple fan i was HOT SUMMER’S evening. lol .
    Cheers guys …

  14. Saif Says:

    OMG, You are amazing dude, that was very very nice and fresh.

  15. hala Says:

    hi saif i would liek to say that me & saif are brother & sister i knew him since i was 15 years old & i didnt knwo how important having a brother & freinds liek saif till i left baghdad & i recognized taht life without him & his family is empty & dont mean anything i swear i allways remember when we used to sit in there house & he start singing & playing on his guitar he is an immazing brother , freind & guitar player & he hae a realy nice voice buit saif i cant hear your voice in this song ????? anyways i realy liek it & i was o happy to see ur pic I WOULD LIEK TO TELL EVRYONE HE IS OEN OF TEH BEST PEOPLE I EVEN MET IN MY WHOLE LIFE & I KNWO I WOULD NEVER MEET PEOPLE LIEK HIM 7 HIS GREAT FAMILY BY TEH WAY SAIF IM REALY SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORY COZ I DIDNT CALL & GONGRATS YOU FOR YOUR WEDDING SO ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLF MBROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOK & INSHALA YOU MAKE ALL YOUR WISHED COME TRUE WITH TEH LOVE OF YOUR LIFE MAY GOD BLESS YOU BOTH & WE STAY FREINDS FOREVER .

  16. Saif Says:

    Thank you Hala that was too much for me. Thank you dear. I miss you …

  17. Lauren Says:

    I agree with Saifedean; you guys sound fantastic! You should record the whole song and put it on youtube

  18. Karenne Says:

    Karenne - from the Chat the Planet staff here … just to say that I will always think of you all when I hear Kenny Roger’s The Gambler. We listened to it so often while the tapes were being edited. I heard it just the other night at a bar in NYC!

  19. Zaid Says:

    Hey Karenne…….thanks , Invite me so as to listen with you……
    Kenny Rogers is my Best Star .
    One of my important wishes is to See Kenny Rogers and tell him how great you are…………………………
    by the way we play (me and SAIF) many songs for Kenny Rogers and I really Feel happy when I sing his songs ….
    My Yahoo ID contains the word ( GAMBLER ) just becuz I love that great Kenny and hi song (the Gambler) .
    Cheers guys

  20. Karenne Says:

    Z - Kate is working on getting you in with Kenny. She knows all the famous people. ;0)

  21. Zaid Says:

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…………. realllllllllllllly ????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    KARENNE and KATE ….I dono what to say or write ….. I swear if I would see him and then die I willbe happyyyyyyyyyy even if i die after spending 5 minutes with him ………………….. THANKKKK YOU THANK YOU SOOO MUCH …

    NOW am chatting with Saif by voice on yahoo and he and his family are loughing on my voice tone ………I AM HAPPY ………

  22. Saif Says:

    Yeah He is really happy…

  23. Noam Says:

    Ahlan, ya jama3a,

    As a singer and guitarist, I’ve gotta say that song sounded amazing–especially under the conditions! ;)

    Sending you all the good energy I can muster–


  24. Nuomann Says:

    Hi, I think the whole thing is more than amazing. Nice work everyone.

  25. Zaid Says:

    Hey Nuomann …. how are you ? miss you man ,
    Its really nice for many many reasons…..(( Collecting people from different cultures and communities especially when there are much people dont know such life details about who live in the other bank…and knowing it by highest level of humanity , friendly and modern way never been used before ….and talking in universall taste about evryting in life , for sure that will break all borders and long way distances between people who want to share life and peace with eachother so as to make a Move step towards the right way of life in peacefull way )).
    By the way the sweetest thing is watching this site growing up and am sure that it would get much people more that we might imagine ..

  26. Hometown Baghdad » Blog Archive » A new song from Adel! Says:

    [...] it, check out this song from Saif and his friends that I posted a while ago. Read the full post here. Posted by [...]

  27. Avon Says:

    Good Job everyone, I liked the music u made guys… keep up the good work… and let’s hear more :)

  28. m.kamil Says:

    good song dear guys …well really i enjoyed it
    keep on the good work…

  29. Tony Says:

    I am really enjoying your episodes and looking forward to more. I play a little bit of Flamenco guitar and I love the stuff you play. Good soloist too.

    We are watching you from Miami Beach, FL where it can get really hot too! When we have Hurricanes the electricity gets cut off fro days sometimes and it is hell. I cannot even beging to imagine what you are going through but I try. We send you lot of love from here and apologies for the Fiasco our government unfolded upon you.

  30. Zaid Says:

    Notice that wonderful second voice tone who was singing with me …..He is Ahmed Naji.
    Best Regards for him (khali Mahmood)

  31. James Says:

    I’m watching from Edmonton, Canada. I’m an elementary school teacher and a musician myself. I listened to your song 5 times since first cueing it up a few minutes ago. It’s fantastic. Please keep writing and posting more. I think it’s wonderful what you’re doing with your videos. No one gets a true idea of what’s going on in your country in North America. I’ll share this website with my friends and students to help educate more people.
    Peace and light

  32. Mohammad Says:

    All the way from Canada, keep it up guys, wish u all the best, your brother Mohammad

  33. Adam F Says:

    From London with brotherly love,

    will keep you in my prayers (all 5 a day!)

  34. brandon Says:

    I was listening to deepak chopra on sirius satellite radio tonight and he mentioned this website so here I am. I play guitar, and I think it would be cool to make music together over the internet. I enjoy writing gutar leads for acoustic or rock songs. is one of my websites. I will soon be adding links like this one to the pages.

    Drop me a line

  35. D.G. Says:

    hey boys im from germany and i dont understand a single word of that song but i really like it a lot !

    i would like to have it as a mp3 file couldnt you put it in somewhere??? :)

    by the way i really love your episodes i would say that i enjoy them but this would be a bit sarcastic wouldnt it ?

    you’re showin all the pain and fear going on over there but nevertheless there is a big warmth of your people’s heart and mentality which is perfectly shown in your videos … keep it up guys and although i dont have the slighthest idea about what youre going through i would say that your friendships will help you going through this horrible time…

  36. Hometown Baghdad » Blog Archive » Iraqi Self-Expression Says:

    [...] before we began releasing our videos on March 19th, I posted an mp3 on this blog of Saif and his friends Zaid and Ahmed playing an Iraqi folk song. That post [...]

  37. lelly Says:

    You guys sing really well. Why haven’t I seen this before?!!

  38. mike Says:

    Lelly!!! What have you been doing? Have you listened to Adel’s song, too? Also, check out Ibrahim Al Madfai (please Iraqis - help me with the spelling here…)….Saif sent me a CD of his and it is AMAZING.

  39. Het Up about Movie Says:

    The Tenth Planet: A Single Life in Baghdad…

    The Tenth Planet: A Single Life in Baghdad…

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