Episode 21 of 45 - “My Best Friend Zaid”

For everyone who has been following the comments on this blog for a while, Zaid should be a familiar figure. He’s the one inviting people to the banks of the Tigris to jam on the guitar and the one writing beautiful lamentations about life in Iraq. In today’s episode, Saif introduces us a little more to his best friend Zaid.

44 Responses to “Episode 21 of 45 - “My Best Friend Zaid””

  1. Amelia A. Says:

    Love this.

  2. Zaid Says:

    The last part as putting photos of many iraqis together is what I feel ( All of us are together as…( oragans of the same body )) .
    Iraq and Iraqis are the same between them and with other people of the world .

    God Bless Iraq and Iraqis


  3. Arnt Says:

    I have just discovered this site. I have passed it on to every one I know. I am so impressed and inspired by all involved. I think every one here in the us should watch these video’s. These are the real faces of the occupation. True HEROS who risk there lives to educate us on the truths of this war. I find all the people in these videos so inspirational. The youth in this country really have no idea what is truly like to suffer, and they should shown.
    Thanks for this

  4. Iza Says:


    Please thank your friend Zaid for being a part of your video. I am sorry to hear about his cousin, and can only hope that he was found.

    To the crew,

    I liked what you have done with the effects in this video, it gives a good sense of Iraq being more than just a country that is so heavily on the news because of this war.

  5. lelly Says:

    Awww. Zaid is nice.
    I like this video, it makes me laugh.
    In that freeze-frame picture on the beach,in swimming trunks, I thought he was in the snow! ( dont laugh, some swedish people do that)

  6. Steffen Says:

    Thank you so much for the insights about life in Iraq right now provided by this site. I hope Zaid’s cousin is returned safe and well, good luck and god bless all of you.

    Great music too :)

  7. Carey Anthony Says:

    Proundly informative. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Tracy Says:

    Yay! Finally a video with Zaid! So nice to “see” him - and your friendship is so beautiful, guys.

    Zaid, love your hair and your guitar playing is beautiful. Was that Gypsy Kings? You guys should all create an album and sell it with some of the proceeds perhaps going towards some Baghdad charity?

    I’m sorry for Zaid’s cousin. You may have lost most hope on his safe return but I have said a prayer for him.

    Much love!

  9. Ausama Says:

    Zaid my Friend ,

    I think I’ve seen you before , you play great guitare by the way
    ( I too can play some songs like for Ilham or Gypsy and for some others )but you certainly play much better !

    I didn’t know about your cousin ,I’m really sorry for that !
    by the way are you still my neighbor there ? ( if you know what I mean ? ) .

    Take care my friend

  10. adkay Says:

    Very beautiful and poignant.

    Zaid, I am so sorry about your cousin. I hope you have made it safely out of there.

  11. Ahmed Naji Says:

    Zaid and Saif… Guys you certainly told brave explicit message about the real life in Baghdad. I want you to know that I miss you, miss playing guitar and smoking with you.

    Ahmed Naji

  12. Zaid Says:

    Hey all , thank you so much … I have to say that am happy for reflecting a picture of many mannnnnny more beautifull views of Iraqis and happy for ur sweet comments , but am STILL SAD for whats going on right now , my cousin is still in an unknown place , who knows !!! he might be dead right now .
    Mike , Ausama , Tracy , AHMED NAJIIIIII , Iza and All people here , thank you

  13. David Says:

    I just found the videos here of Baghdad. My heart reaches out to you. I admire you for trying to keep your sense of humor. All humans are as one. We are all a part of God. There is only one God. When we all understand that, we will stop fighting and come together in peace and harmony as God intended. Meantime God bless you all and keep you safe until sanity returns to the world.

  14. Tegan Says:

    This one makes me smile!
    I have been listening to so much Flamenco since i heard Saif and Zaid play guitar, I love it! You have introduced me to a new art form.
    Like everyone else, I am sorry to hear about Zaid’s cousin, and hope he is returned safe and well.

    much love to you all

  15. Sally Says:

    Guys, great video, but who is the hot guy in ‘Abdullah Leaves’ who throws water after Abdullah? He looks a bit like Millhouse from the Simpsons! But that’s just my opinion…

  16. SteveR Says:

    respectfully, why are the men depicted in these videos not joining the Iraqi Army? Americans should not have to die defending men who dont appear to be willing to serve their country in its time of greatest need. If the government and army are corrupt, wouldnt the service of the decent people shown in these videos make it better?

    Obviously I dont know all the facts. Please explain if you can and want to.


  17. Tegan Says:


    There are more ways to serve, help, and protect a country than the Army. Doctors, Dentists, Engineers .. these are all people who are striving to re-build a better Iraq. They’re using intelligence and the will to help people to make their country a better place for it’s people.
    I think people who choose to join the Army are brave, and truly believe that’s the right way to serve their country, be it Iraq or America. But if everyone in Iraq joined the Army, where would the Doctor’s be to help the injured? Where would the Engineers be to rebuild fallen cities?

  18. Zaid Says:

    Hey Steve , Iraq needs people from different ways ,not only army not only police and not even only doctors , but Iraq needs them all so you cant make all iraqis in the army thats wrong man ,
    Ill give you an example when the human body is injured , there are a defence cells that do its job for that but the brain cells are still working on its job and will never be transformed to defence cells erey cell has its own job ,,,,, so …
    Not all people can kill …….. for me ( I swear I can not kill even a chiken , so how could I use a gun ?!!! to kill people!!!!)
    I can not do that , I believe that God has created me to help people and treat them whatever they are , I am helping my country when I study well and get the new update of my study and then do my best for my country and Its people ……
    Look , in Iraq now Doctors is being threatenin all the time and they are under fear of death by criminals who is taking money for that , but you can not lkeave such an incect kill an educated person who is trying to do his best for his country and all people in the world ,
    By the way …
    my parents are Dentist and doctor and they had left Iraq as well coz they can not live any more when they told them they will be dead if they will continue going to their clinics ….see????!!!!!!!!!
    YOU CAN NOT understand whats going on in any place more than its people , I am Iraqi and am proud of being Iraqi and what you see in TV is the bad face of people who is pretending they are Iraqis , for me I dont believe they are Iraqis coz they are doing such things for people of Iraq who are trying to live as other people of the world in peace and love .
    Do you know Hitler ??? he had learned his people to die for there country not to live and do there best for them selves ,
    NOW we need both things (( fight and build ))
    Regards for You all and thank you Tegan

  19. Billie Says:

    Tegan ,

    You touched on a subject I’ve been thinking about. I wanted to ask the guys if they ever discuss what they will do when the American soldiers leave. I agree with you that doctors and engineers are needed . And not only would some need to join the Army , but I’m sure the intellectuals could greatly serve their country by becoming members of the government. I’m basically just wondering if the 20 and 30 something population are discussing plans as to what they will do when the American soldier leaves. Of course, I can only guess that all they can do right now is focus on surviving each day. I’m asking this question as an American because I want our soldiers brought home for their sake ; but it’s difficult to understand what the morally right thing is to do. Stay or leave ? It would help if these young men shared their views on that.

  20. Ella Says:

    Dear Zaid,
    I’m very sorry about your cousin. I hope he will be found uninjured soon. I work for a magazine in Switzerland and would like to write an article on young people living in Baghdad. This site is a valuable source for me. I am very impressed and touched by what I see, hear and read here. I would love to ask you some questions - would you allow me to? And if yes: is there any way (other than this) I can contact you for that?

    Best regards

  21. Tracy Says:

    Who would want to join the Iraqi army anyway? They are underpaid and undertrained. ( http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/04/30/riminton.iraqtroops/index.html )… That would basically be suicide. It would be pointless death… At least doing Hometown Baghdad and spreading the truth they are making a difference.

    Iraq doesn’t need more soldiers or more guns - it needs people spreading peace and truth. It needs the American government to bring in international peace keeping forces and involve the other Arab countries.

    I’m a little optimistic right now. Even though Bush has vetoed the bill that would start bringing our troops home in October, I think a clear message has been sent. Bush may be in denial. Bush may be stubborn - but I think things will start changing soon - there are going to have to be compromises, Insha’Allah. (God willing.)


  22. Karenne Says:

    Hey Zaid,

    I believe that God created me to help people too. I think about that a lot each morning when I run along the Hudson river in NYC - a world away from your river. I like to think that maybe we are all here right now doing this very important project, as part of our personal purpose to promote tolerance and understanding. Be safe. Sptrossi.

  23. James Says:

    Tracy I disagree with you underpaid and under trained? The military is the main source of income for thousands of families in Iraq. Yea they don’t all have to go to the military but there is a revolution happening and the Americans can’t fight alone. So if I understand you correctly bring the troops home and Iraqis shouldn’t join the military boy I am glad you are not a decision maker. Another dictator would just walk right in perhaps Al Sadr? This is not going to be over quickly and even some of the moderators have stated they want the USA to stay even though they don’t want to be occupied. Peace is not going to come easy there is a major sect war going on. Were going to help fight it out with the Iraqis till their ready.

    Zaid I agree with you 100% you guys need a mixture of different things to fix things like Doctors, engineers not everyone is meant for the military. I am sorry to here about your cousin. I hope he comes back all right. Best of luck with the guitar playing u were jamming some pretty cool toons with Saif. I have a question for you it seems like things are starting to calm down a little bit over there. Has the security plan inside Baghdad quelled some of the violence? Also what is your opinion of the Iraq government are they puppets or do you have faith in them? From god lips to your ears things will get better.

    Greets from America

  24. Zeyad Says:

    Lek ha Zaid. How are you? I remember you now from Dentistry College days. Get in touch some time.

  25. aussiefem Says:

    Great stuff! The world needs to see this!

  26. Tracy Says:

    James - There would be more options for sources of income if the US stopped importing contractors. Maybe there are some men who enjoy being in the military but I suspect many need to support their families and have little choice.

    I am not saying the US troops should abandon Iraq. We made this mess and need to clean it up. My point is that the US governement and military still seems stubbornly set in their thinking that this is an issue to be solved with force - and I don’t believe it is.

    The way the US behaves reminds me of my 5 year old. Sometimes he is trying to do a difficult task and I say, “Here, let me help you” - and he says, “NO NO NO! I CAN DO IT MYSELF!” … The US needs to drop their pride and forget about “winning the war”. We need to bring in anyone who is willing to come in and try to help us create a secure, united and peaceful Iraq.

  27. Bob Says:

    Your videos made me cry, as tears roll down my cheeks I want to say: I am so sorry for what ever my country has done to add so much pain to so many. I don ‘t support this war and neither do millions of people here in America. There are people here in power that have usurped the true nature of our country. Again I am truly sorry for what my tax dollars have gone to.

    I look forward to the day that we might play music together.

  28. adkay Says:

    Tracy, that is a great analogy. ITA.

  29. Zaid Says:

    Hey guys …….
    Sorry I have not been here coz now am in Dubai , Left Egypt
    Thank you

  30. Zaid Says:

    Watch this ……….. homeless in paris


  31. Saif Says:

    Hey Ella,
    You can do an interview with me,
    Try to contact me by taking my e-mail from the manger of the this site Mike.
    Thank you .

  32. Mohammed Says:

    hi guys.
    im a palestinian guy living in sweden and every day i hope the peace reaches iraq. im so tired of hearing how many people died in a car bomb every day.

    this is a great way to reach out to the rest of the world that doesnt understand what youre going through.
    im really proud of what you achieved and i wish the best of luck to all of you!

    you actually make me wanna go visit iraq sometime! :)

    salam aleikum

  33. Alex Says:

    good work guys!

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

    [...] Zaid (see “My Best Friend Zaid” and “Iraqi Man”) sent me the following five pictures over the weekend. I can’t [...]

  35. Zaid Says:

    Am Zaid ….hello all
    When I said life is expensive i ment that all people are the same and never been different from others but the media has made us the BAD PEOPLE . as we try to kill others .
    Bush has has turned the war on and then he said to the world in an indirect way through the media that we are terrorists and made us suffering inside and out side Iraq .
    What you see in TV is not all the truth , the truth is … there are bad and good people living together in all over the world not only Iraq , but unfortunately now ..((( ALL THE WORLD SEE US AS TERRORISTS AND AS A BAD PEOPLE ))) and most of us can not kill a chicken .
    Thank you

  36. lelly Says:

    Zaid what you say is true, of course. There no such thing as a country made entirely of bad people or a country entirely of good people.
    Only idiots believe this.
    ( I couldnt even eat a chicken, lol )

  37. Billie Says:

    Hi Zaid,

    I have been viewing Home Town Baghdad vlogs for sometime. And now I have an entirely different perspective about the Iraqi people. You and the others involved have done a great service to your people.

    Thanks for sharing

  38. Saif Says:

    Hey there,
    Zaid was very brave and tolerant when his cousin had been kidnapped. and although his life was in danger too he stayed in Iraq to finish his internship.

  39. Saif Says:

    I miss you Zaid, I didn’t see you for about 15 months.
    I miss playing guitar with you.

  40. Zaid Says:

    Hey Saif …….
    Missing you so much man

  41. Eduardo Says:

    Great, shows the human face of our brothers in Irak,
    Irak I think was better off before the American invasion ,
    is time for the USA ocupation to leave Irak ,and let the people over there rebuilt their Country !
    Let’s remember Irak belongs to an area where civilitation started thousands of years ago ,and I’m sure they can do it again…hopefully, better if religion and bad politics don’t interfere !

  42. jimmy Says:

    Better religion and
    politics don’t mix


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