Episode 26 - “Beggar at the Gate”

An unexpected visitor shows up while Saif prepares to leave Baghdad.

On April 9th, the 4th anniversary of the fall of Baghdad, we posted a message from our extremely talented and eloquent director, Ziad Turkey. He refers to watching one of the participants pack his bags and the extreme emotional agony he felt at that moment. Go back and see how he felt as he shot some of this material.

26 Responses to “Episode 26 - “Beggar at the Gate””

  1. Saif Says:

    I miss my house.

  2. Ahmed Naji Says:

    I miss your house too.

  3. Noor Says:

    Nice episode Saif, i hope you satteled down well in Jordan.
    And as for the visitor you had,, well i guess she’s got to feed her kids (probably) besids, everyone is desperate there now. nice of you to help.

  4. Samara Says:

    Saif, I’m glad you’re safe. Have you seen your fiance? I Hope things work out for you.

  5. Eddie Says:

    Saif, I’m glad to see you are now safe in another country. It is unfortunate and sad that yet another educated Iraqi had to leave. I see you have what looks like a maid or female worker there. She looks to be Asian. What is the story behind her? Are there many Asian women who work in Iraq as maids?

  6. don't eat alone Says:

    I heard your story on Morning Edition here in Boston yesterday. You are in my prayers.


  7. adkay Says:

    I don’t blame you for missing your house. I’m so sorry that you had to leave.

  8. Mohamed Nagi Says:

    dude.. this house you’re packing up is MY HOME. :(

  9. aussiefem Says:

    The social structure and fabric of Iraq has been destroyed. Iraq is full of beggars and homeless, including children.
    We are seeing the destruction of a country, its culture and its people and we are powerless to do anything.

    Saif you are doing the right thing by leaving. I am predicting that the situation in Iraq, hard to believe, will only get far worse. The current Iraqi politicians don’t care about the Iraqi people, nor do the occupying forces.

  10. Zaid Says:

    It seems like yesterday ……… Saif
    I spent wonderful days in that house , ONE DAY WE WILL GO BACK TO OUR LAND AND OUR HOUSES

  11. lelly Says:

    Saif, your house misses you.

  12. Steve Says:

    I referenced your website on my blog today. I encourage you to read my words (pasted below). I wish to convey support but also encourage you to understand, as a former soldier, the American perspective. Thanks Gentlemen.

    While I have not been able to watch all of their footage yet, I have to commend these Iraqi men on, at least, having nerve. I can tell you first hand that carrying a camera in Iraq (especially around American troops) can have dire consequences. I support their quest to get everyday life in the country out for others to see. Some of these educated young fellows even express- GET READY FOR IT- support for American presence.

    However, I have to mention all this with a disclaimer. There is a reason that carrying a camera around American troops is dangerous. It’s because the one carrying the camera can be dangerous to Americans. Troops simply do not have the time to consider whether an average citizen is filming for documentary reasons or for much more damaging surveillance reasons. I enjoy that these Iraqis are telling their story. But I truly implore them to pull their cameras from taping troops. You are only adding another angle to a crazy dynamic that every troop on the ground needs to consider.

    Get your word out, Gentlemen. Tell your story. But do so tactfully. Filming American troops isn’t a game. And now that this website is getting so much attention, there are many options for these Iraqi men to utilize to tape Americans if they so choose. I encourage them to use their outside contacts to get a hold of American military Public Affairs officers. The soldiers aren’t afraid to be put on tape because they know their actions are noble. They simply can’t trust every average Iraqi “Joe” to tape them.

    My fear is that our troops will one day be put in an awkward situation because of these men and their cameras. One of these guys will get arrested or worse. And then, of course, American troops will be looked upon negatively once again. If such an unfortunate circumstance should occur, please remember my words today and by sympathetic to why troops have to react to such voyeurs. It’s a matter of security.

  13. James Says:

    I just made a new video tribute Iraq for all the good people of Iraq. This is also dedication to the Hometown Baghdad crew that have put their lives on the line to show us the truth! Everyone person counts and I hope this civil unrest goes away soon.

    Peace from America,

  14. Gunner Sgt Says:

    al-Qaeda want the U.S. Military to leave Iraq for them to conquer.


    Saif, Ausama, and Adel what is your opinion on this statement by al-Qaeda in Iraq?

  15. Saif Says:

    Gunner sgt,
    Thanks for your interest in our show,
    I think that Al-Qaeda has no right to impose thier ideology in Iraq. because Iraq belongs to IRAQIS and only Iraqis.

  16. Gunner Sgt Says:


    I agree Iraq is the Iraqi’s country and all American Soldiers want to come home when Iraqi’s Government has stability and real leaders and an Army able to provide security and hunt down al-Qaeda and Insurgents.

    al-Qaeda wants the United States to leave Iraq do you?

    Believe me Saif American Soldiers do not want to stay in Iraq for any longer than they have to.

    Have any of your family members joined the Iraqi Army to fight al-Qaeda?

    Do you have any friends in the Iraqi Army or spoken with anyone in the Iraqi Army?

  17. Gunner Sgt Says:

    The Democrat Speaker of the House doesn’t believe al-Qaeda is a threat to the Iraqi people!!!


    It makes you wonder if Democrats are truely paying attention to what’s going on in Iraq.

    al-Qaeda wants Anbar Province for themselves to base terrorist operations.

    If American troops leave before the Iraqi Army is ready al-Qaeda will get it. This will not only be horrible for Iraq, but for all secular people around the world.

  18. Saif Version2 Says:

    saif, do u advice on buying a house ib baghdad? if not then what places do u suggest, and can u give me an idea about the prices? ya3ny are prices goin down ot what?

    thanks man

  19. Tracy Says:

    Beautiful home, Saif. God willing, you and your family will return to it under peaceful circumstances one day, hopefully, not in the too distance future.

    The doorbell sounded very strange to me - like a bird chirping. Is this a normal doorbell in Iraq? Most American doorbells make a noise like “ding dong!” LOL.

    You say that on average 5 or 6 beggars come daily. Is this since the war or has it always been this way? Did less beggars come before?

    I like your last line, “We must help each other.” If people believed this all over the world how much less suffering there would be.

  20. Tracy Says:

    By the way, I can’t imagine the stress you would feel taking care of all your belongings, selling the cars, trusting your home in the hands of another family, etc.

    We are in the process of trying to move a couple states away. I have been very stressed about taking care of everything but this video really put things in perspective.

  21. Saif Says:

    Hey Tracy ,
    How are you ?
    Thank you for your kind interest in our show.
    About the doorbell, I don’t think all the doorbell like that, but during the sanction Iraqis begin to make up things, they made so many things that was one of them ” the bird doorbell “but mine was iranian. written on it sakhet iran.
    About the beggers we had beggers during Saddam’s regime because of the sanction. I didn’t notice any change in the beggers number in pre and post war.

  22. Saif Says:

    Hi Saif version 2,
    If want to talk about this subject, you can have my e-mail from the manger of the website. Mike.
    Thank you very much.

  23. Saif Says:

    Beggers, We should help them. Think about it.

  24. Tracy Says:

    Thanks for answering my questions, Saif! :) Hope you are all doing well.

    Your friend,

  25. Saif Version2 Says:

    Thanks saif…in my other reply i put the wrong email sorry…anyways this one here is my real one…i hope mike sends me ur email…..or should i email him to ask him for it?

    thanks in advance

  26. Annie Says:

    You’re such a generous dude Saif :) we need more people like you! (and the others of course :P)

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