Episode 30 - “Over Here and Over There”

Syria has been a refuge for Iraqis fleeing their dangerous homeland since the war began. Life as a refugee there can be incredibly difficult but hopefully things will start getting a bit better. In today’s episode, we get to experience what Syria is like from Adel’s Iraqi perspective. Though throughout his visit, Adel knows that he must return to Baghdad.

For a peak at Iraqi refugees in Syria, watch this.

33 Responses to “Episode 30 - “Over Here and Over There””

  1. Iza Says:

    It was good to see a video on Adel, you’ve been missed. Did you go to Syria at the same time that Ausama went to Syria? There’s such a huge difference between the way of life in Syria versus Iraq. I’m glad that you were able to enjoy yourself for a few weeks. Take care and be safe, Ausama mentioned how the travel to Syria can still be dangerous.

  2. Karenne Says:

    Adel,

    Your band should do a cover of a Kenny Roger’s song ;) and dedicate it to Saif …..

  3. David Says:

    Hey Adel,

    You guys should hook up with this Iraqi Metal Band “Acrassicauda”. I think these documentaries mention that some of them are in Syria (maybe more of them are now.)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TK9ZkW0HabQ
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ya7JvSyza8w

    There’s quite a bit more of their stuff on YouTube.

  4. David Says:

    There’s more on this Iraqi metal band “Acarssicauda” here:
    http://www.vbs.tv/shows/index.php?show=Heavy%20Metal%20In%20Baghdad

  5. Saif Version2 Says:

    I dont care what u guys do in syria..but please dont kill the image of the people of ur country…..I think u knw what i mean.

  6. Patrick Says:

    I have to say I think Black Raq would be one hell of a name for a metal band. And no one would ever be able to claim that y’all don’t know what brutal is.

    Is your music going to stay a hobby/side project as you continue your studies to become a doctor, or are you considering focusing on your music more?

    I have to say I’m surprised (and more than a little embarassed) at the view of Syria through your camera. I had thought of it as being much different, it’s sad to realize how misinformed and ignorant so many of us in the States are when it comes to certain parts of the world.

    And as a final question (for this episode at least), what cover songs do you guys like doing most often?

  7. Konfused Kid Says:

    That was cool. Dude Syria is like, Iraq pre-war. Same streets and same buildings, oh and :

    “Saif Version 2: Don’t kill the image of our country??????????????????? Like you didn’t completely demolish huge fractions of it by your bragging about premarital sex and other un-iraqi things if you know what i mean ;) just don’t test the guy for saying the truth.

  8. Camila Says:

    Oi, me desculpe por não escrever em inglês. Estou escrevendo em português. É que não sei escrever inglês, nem falar. =(
    Sou do Brazil, descobri seu site, através desse site: http://www.bbc.co.uk/portuguese/reporterbbc/story/2007/05/070518_andreablogs_is.shtml
    No is vírus =p Não é vírus.

    Admito que fiquei impressionada com a vida de vocês, e também a cidade Bagdá, eu não sabia que é assim a cidade, pois o que vejo nos jornais são casas destruídas, e soldados americanos torturando os prisoneiros.
    O Brazil está ficando cada vez mais violento, tem problemas de balas perdidas, tiroteiro com traficantes com polícia. +- parecido aí em Bagdá.
    Espero que os americanos abrem os olhos pra perceber que vocês tem uma vida normal, e que vocês tem que viver sem esse sofrimento.

    Eu também impressionei com estilo de vida de vocês, pois só via mulheres com panos, então a impressão que dá, é que são pessoas muito fechadas.

    Espero que nenhum momento tenho te ofendido.

    Abraços. Camila.

  9. Camila Says:

    tradutor Babel Fish:

    Hi, forgives me for not writing in English. I am writing in Portuguese. It is that I do not know to write English, nor to speak =(
    I am of the Brazil, I discovered its site, through this site: http://www.bbc.co.uk/portuguese/reporterbbc/story/2007/05/070518_andreablogs_is.shtml =p is not virus. I admit that I was made an impression with the yous life, and also the Bagdá city, I not wise person who is thus the city, therefore what I see in periodicals is destroyed houses, and American soldiers torturing the prisoneiros. The Brazil is being each more violent time, has problems of lost bullets, tiroteiro with dealers with policy. + - seemed there in Bagdá. I wait that the Americans open the eyes pra to perceive that vocês he has a normal life, and that yous he has that to live without this suffering. I also made an impression with style of yous life, therefore he only saw women with cloths, then the impression that give, is that they are very closed people.
    I wait that no moment I have offended you.
    Sorry me speak inglese much bad =\
    Abraços. Camila.

  10. douglas Says:

    sorry my english very bad

    Adel, is very good for seeing this type of video. in my mind and of the population of Brazil, it only exists destroyed streets and houses.
    nor it imagined that you they had access products U.S.A. or European, as to guitar even though in the way of if to dress for me you they only used typical clothes.

  11. Tracy Says:

    Adel, when did you get into heavy metal music? Did you secretly play and listen before the war? I can see the attraction to this music when one is unhappy or going through hard times. I liked heavy metal (mostly Metallica) when I was a teenager. When I was a teenager I went through “hard times” (laughable compared to your situation, but American teens can go through this rebellious phase.) LOL :)

    When you talked about how Iraqis don’t have the luxury of simply having fun as the Syrians, etc. because they are too busy worrying about electricity, water, safety, etc - you were describing in other words Maslow’s Heirarchy of needs. Did you ever study this in Iraq? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow’s_hierarchy_of_needs)

    Also, how you kept comparing Syria to Iraq. I did this, too when I went to a differnet state recently. I’m from the Northern US and we went for a visit in the Southern US. Most of what we talked about was, “Up North we do things this way…” etc. I think that is a natural human tendency to hold up ones home in comparison to wherever else in the world you go - For better or for worse.

    Praying that one day you’ll be able to say, “Back home in Iraq everyone is so peaceful and happy.”

    Peace.
    Your friend,
    Tracy

  12. lelly Says:

    Ahaha, Adel, just so you know, pretty much everywhere people ask metalheads,”How can you listen to this shit?”
    Great vid, peppes
    Peace and Love

  13. Ale Says:

    Hi! I´m a brazilian woman, 29, and I live in Bauru (a small city in SãoPaulo/Brasil). I discover this website here: http://tecnologia.terra.com.br/interna/0,,OI1630687-EI4802,00.html .
    Somethings I can´t imagine like yours life style. Without places to go, without a girlfriend, the destruction. I watch some episodes and I feel bad, ´cause here in Rio de Janeiro the situation is almost the same.
    I will pray for you guys, and for the people that live here in Bagdá.
    God bless you,
    kiss and sorry for my english (I´m studying for 2 years).
    Alessandra

  14. maddie Says:

    hey adel…ever since i found this website, my perspective on life has totally changed. i am a muslim girl living in new york and i must say, life here is different on a whole other level. i never even imagined that the life for the iragis could be so difficult even though i have seen a lot on the news and stuff. this is totally different. i think u guys (all of u) are so brave to be sharing this with the world. watching this i have realized, that i have so much in common with u as a person. i never thought that i would have anything in common with an iraqi guy, which sounds bad but its the truth. after all, a lot of us can only go by what we see on the news here. anyway, yeah, ur band rocks and so does the band name and good luck.

  15. Kenny Says:

    I wish more people would see this. In the US we have this vision that anything outside of the North American, Europe, Austrailia, and Japan is a dirt hole. I’ve recently wanted to go to Syria but aside from not having money, I am still scared going to the middle east as an american. Of course I am also scared of going to Colombia as a colombian. I hope that our generation will see peace in the middle east before we are too old.

  16. Tegan Says:

    haha i love this
    “Hey guys, let’s rent a bicycle”

  17. James Says:

    Kenny I encourage you to go Colombia I was born and raised in the USA but I have family there. I am half Colombian, I have been there numerous times its a very beautiful place. I will be heading back this December can’t wait.

    Adel seriously thank you for showing this video very informative. I pictured Syria completely different. I always pictured woman wearing Burqa’s and taliban type guys riding in pick up trucks. I am just blown away, I am glad that they enjoy some of the freedoms that we do. Thanks for sharing!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWfIhFhelm8

  18. Noor Says:

    Vodka?!
    okay

  19. Kamil Says:

    Dear friends, I would like to thank you for your website and especially videos
    from Iraq, I’ve really changed my opinions about your culture that is very
    different from our - European. At our place generally there is an image
    “muslim” man with turban who is praying from the morning till the night and abases
    his woman, doesn’t eat pork and women goes draperied from heels as far as
    head, so they might have seen only their men. We’re not
    blind to policy and reasonable man creates this opinions alone.

    Without consequence along, I’ll advise your websites to all people I known
    in the Czech Republic.

    Kamil

  20. Samara Says:

    Adel, It’s so good to see you having fun and living life as a young man should. I hope you managed to relax and unwind. Please be careful now that you are back in Baghdad. Summer holidays are almost here again, and may be you can go to Syria again.

    I must say this is the first time I have ever equated Syria with freedom :)

    Keep safe.

  21. Dana Says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. I appreciated the comparisons between Syria and Iraq. It seemed to me a continuation of explaining how things really are in Iraq.

    Stay safe guys!

    Dana
    Tenenssee

  22. Nadia Says:

    haha, it’s the way most people look at anyone playing or listening to metal in arab countries, just the way you said it, they think it is music of the devil :P specially if it’s a girl :D, but I am still proud to be a metalhead, it’s our music and no one can take it from us…

    keep on shaking that head, Adel!! We’ll be waiting to hear some more of your work :)

    P.S love the way you put seven nation army at the background, Mike :D

    Love,
    Nadia.

  23. Omar Says:

    Great video Adel. I’m metal-crazy myself ;)

    Thanks for the link James. Of all the republican Presidential candidates, I only respect Ron Paul. If I were American I would vote either for him or for Dennis Kucinich.

  24. James Says:

    Omar if I am not mistaken you had pointed him out to me a while ago. So I should be thanking you. Ron Paul all the way lots of other Americans are waking up also :)

  25. aussiefem Says:

    I have an Iraqi friend, Hamoody, who is in Syria now with his mother and family. I wish I could have arranged for Adel to go and check on him to see that he is alright.

  26. mike Says:

    Even though I too love metal, it always amazes me how popular metal is throughout the world. For a genre of music that most people find incredibly irritating, it certainly has a lot of fans. check out this article about an Iraqi metalhead: http://metal-rules.com/zine/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=876

    To Nadia, Omar and Adel - \m/

  27. Nadia Says:

    wow mike, that is one hell of a metalhead !!!! I don’t think I qualify to be called one if I was compared to him :D, maybe because I listen more to Rock :P
    thanks for the post, man!! great to know cool people like that really exist :P

  28. Nadia Says:

    by the way, Mike… about that thing with the chat room, i may sound greedy today but …. can’t we have both :D!!
    I agree with you, a live conversation is very awsome but people who come here and write these comments are way too good to be missed!!

  29. Haider khalil Says:

    hay men ur good yu enjoy am left baghdad from 4year realy i misst it so mach & i misst the iraqe headbangers… adel i think the good name for ur grup is Children of Blood like Children of Bodom:)

  30. Hella Says:

    left baghdad when I was 15 yrs old , now am 25 !!! Damn time goes by way too fast !!

    Nice music Adel :) , wish you and all your friends the best in Life ..

    Me and my friend We’ve been watching HTB for a month , I used to tell them that We have cute Iraqi guys and they never believed me but now they do ;) . My friend who lives in baghdad she always Tell me ” We just want to live ” .

    Wish you all the luck and hopefully that song music will fall in love with your music and sing a contract with you guys ;)

  31. Nanda Says:

    Hi Adel:
    I always look forward to your episodes because of the deep thoughts and emotions that you evoke. Mostly, I’ve felt the strong irony of war such as the present and the future, liberation and freedom, occupation and lack of security, life and death, dreams and destruction, beauty and violence. When I was a kid I heard or read some of the Arabian Nights stories, so I really, really appreciated the episode of a Palace’s Maid. Your comment on no water running was powerful and very symbolic. I could think how the water could symbolize Iraq, which is supposed to run beautifully but it can’t. I’m going to dream that one day the war will be over, that Iraq will rebuild, and I’ll be able to travel to Baghdad, and I’ll have my picture taken by the fountain. I’ll wash my hand in the running water = the beautiful culture of Iraq.

  32. aussiefem Says:

    Reading through the comments, unquestionably Hometown Baghdad has succeeded in reaching younger generations particularly through the medium of rock music.

    Of course, Iraqis are not too much different from us in the West!! People forget that Saddam Hussein, although a dictator, was a progressive, secular leader. The arts, including rock music, flourished under Saddam Hussein. Iraq led many Middle Eastern countries in education and health care.

    It is unfortunate that the Western demonisation of Saddam Hussein has forged a totally false understanding of Iraq and its people.

    Is it possible for Adel and his friends to stage a world webcast rockfest? Music is a medium which communicates loudest to many people and it may help drive home the appalling circumstances that Iraqis are now living under.

  33. guilherme Says:

    hey guys i indeed admire ur , i think u r so brave to tape these things in a place where a war is running , and i wanna say u that it´s reaaly important what u r doing because peolple all over the worl simply dont know what is hapenning in iraq , how u live there and so on . good job and be careful

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