HTB reduces number of episodes to 38 and looks to future

Sorry for the bad news…but we’ve decided to cut the final episode count from 45 to 38. We had to do it for a variety of reasons that aren’t totally important - scheduling, storytelling efficiency, etc. Whatever the reasons are, I think the remaining episodes are really powerful and that they will be a fitting close to the series.

I also want to say that being a part of this series has been one of the best experiences I have ever had. The friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime. And the emotional impact of being so close to this project and the people involved will be with me for a while. I may work for Chat the Planet and I may be part of the team that produced Hometown Baghdad, but I’ve also been an avid viewer of HTB. And watching Adel, Ausama and Saif live their incredible lives has moved me and taught me more than I can say. I am truly sad that in a few weeks there will be no new web videos.

But that’s not to say that Hometown Baghdad is done. Chat the Planet is just getting started. And this website will continue to exist in some form or another. Once there are no new videos, I am planning on doing a bit of a rehaul of the site. I want to have it make sense for a series that exists online in its entirety rather than looking like a defunct blog. I will still add content to it and hopefully Saif, Adel and Ausama will continue to tell us where and how they are. But the blog format probably won’t be so front and center. I’m thinking forums, a more user friendly episode guide, and a bit more background material. But mostly I’m thinking I want to know what others think. So feel free to post your thoughts in the comments or send me emails.

22 Responses to “HTB reduces number of episodes to 38 and looks to future”

  1. Tegan Says:

    Thats’ so sad! 7 whole episodes gone?? Ah well, I’m sure you had a good reason :)
    Your whole team has made such a big impact. I don’t think anyone who watched these videos could walk away untouched. And I think I speak for everyone when I say how grateful I am that the world has been given a glimpse into the lives of Ausama, Saif, and Adel and their friends and families.
    So thank you!
    And I was just thinking yesterday that a forum would be a good idea!

    PS encase anyone is a comic book fan, I read a Graphic Novel called ‘Pride of Baghdad’ based around lions at Baghdad Zoo who escape when the war starts (which i think really happened?). It’s a good read!

  2. Gunner Sgt Says:

    I like the Forum idea Mike.

  3. Sally Says:

    wow its really sad that the videos are going to stop soon…couldn’t you put the axed 7 in a kind of miscellaneous or outtakes section of the website? It doesn’t have to follow on from the current story pattern, just random bits from the recordings, I’m sure many fans of the site would appreciate it :-)

    Great job to all who worked on this; you created something special, brought people together and brought the plight of these young guys (and thousands like them) to the attention of the world. I’m so glad that you’re getting a steady interest from the media- well done

  4. Karenne Says:

    Fuzzyone, you have created something very important. And while you did not do this on your own, it would never have become the success that it has been, nor would it have impacted the number of lives that it has, but for your dedication.

    As you said, Chat the Planet is just getting geared up and there is much more to come … you and all of the loyal, thoughtful and giant hearted HB contributors are proof to the thesis that people want peace and community so much more than tragedy and hatred.

  5. Angela Grant Says:

    I love your ideas for the redesign, but I hope you’ll continue to allow people to subsribe via RSS. I’ve enjoyed having your videos delivered to my feed reader.

  6. Tracy Says:

    I’m happy to hear the news that we will still get to keep track of Adel, Ausama and Saif after this. I think I speak for a lot of HB fans when I say that I see them as friends and would like to keep in touch in some way.

    Thanks to all of you who made this possible.

    PS - I love Sally’s idea of out-takes. You have to have some hilarious stuff. These guys are too funny.

  7. lelly Says:

    Forum and outtakes. Good ideas *cough*cough*
    Oh well. No point cryin over spilt potion. you’ve made your decision.


  8. Nadia Says:

    *sniffs* I… *sniffs again* I can’t believe there will be no more you guys :((
    I became addicted to you….. I have been staying home lately to study and I swear the only thing that differentiates sunday from monday to me was that I get to watch you on monday *gets into a hysterical fit of crying* sorry I get a bit emotional !!!

    but we’ll all keep in touch, you are all a wonderful group and I would hate to lose track of you all…. god, I think I’ll even miss Gunner Sgt *sniffs one more time* with those loooooong looooooong articles he writes, lelly , tegan, zaid, saif, ausama, miiiiiiike, all of you!!

    love you HB!!

    P.S how do you like my new sound effects??!

  9. Clevergirl Says:


  10. lelly Says:

    Nadia. you’ve started me off! Its not over yet, girl!…*bursts out crying*

    btw, the sound effects are very good *claps*

  11. A.A. Says:

    Oh no! I can’t believe it coming to an end. I am having fun watching them. Forum is a great idea. Also where are they now concerning the cast members is good too.

  12. Iza Says:

    I can’t believe the videos are coming to an end so soon. You’re about to be featured on the Today Show in NY this morning, I guess in a few minutes. I’m awaiting that segment. Maybe I can record it and send you a clip :-)

  13. Iza Says:

    The Today Show clip was a good one, I hope it brings more viewers to your site. I’m going to try to post what I recorded on my other YouTube account, if they’ll let me ;-)

  14. Thomas Nicholas Pappas, Ph.D. Says:

    HOMETOWN BAGHDAD is an excellent overview of the struggles that occasion the war and civil strife in a great land populated by great people.

    In Detroit, I was surrounded by friends who migrated to the USA from Iraq and many of my friends proceeded to professional careers in medicine, the law, and university positions.

    I must confess that Baghdad continues its historical position as the location of educated, professionally sensitive, and curiosity driven minds of strength.

    You and your country should work toward a peaceful resolution to civil strife and a sense of stability. I suspect that stablility comes from within and cannot be imposed from outside this country that houses the two greatest rivers in the world, The Tigris and Euphrates.

    Professor Pappas

  15. Thomas Nicholas Pappas, Ph.D. Says:

    Greetings again from THE GOLDEN GREEK,

    I left a message indicating my affection for the cultural contributions of the Iraqi peoples in archeology, education, medicine, and the professionally generated fields of study and application.

    I learned of the prominence of Baghdad in the Medieval and Renaissance world and know that there is an outstanding realization throughout history of the innovations that derived from your land and your people.

    I am located in Los Angeles, California and wish you and your nation the very, very best for the future. As I indicated in my earlier message, only the iraqi peoples can resolve the issues of civil consideration and strife.

    I want to visit a peaceful Iraq. I would simply say Peace is an excellent alternative to Civil stife.

    Professor Pappas

  16. mike Says:

    Haha, Iza! Don’t go breakin the law on our account! But if you do post or find the clip online, let me know. I think someone on our side recorded it but I kind of can’t wait to watch it.

    New episode any minute now….It’s coming a little early today….

  17. mike Says:

    And to everyone else, there aren’t really any episodes that we cut wholesale that we can post. Most of the footage from what would have been other episodes was incorporated into the remaining ones. And I’m busy investigating open-source or freeware discussion boards.

  18. susan Says:

    I just discovered Hometown Baghdad (saw it on CNN) and am passing it along to as many people as can be induced to look. I can’t think of a more effective demonstration that there is a human family with more commonalities than differences. Decades of news coverage of the Palestinian - Israeli conflict, and more recently of the Iraq wars, have left too many Americans with a distorted view of the Islamic middle east. Even I, who often argue that point in political discussions, was startled to see a secular culture on display, and a family scene at the dinner table that mirrors the same scene in most American homes.

    If only more people understood how alike we are. If only more people cared to know.

    Thank you for this.

  19. astrid Says:

    Watching all of you and your incredible lives has moved me and my family and taught us more than we can say.

    Thanks to all of you who made this possible - great work!

    You all are proof to the thesis that people want peace, love and community so much more than hatred and tragedy.

    We of course will continue reading and watching -


  20. Hometown Baghdad » Blog Archive » Schedule Change Says:

    [...] of the final pieces and now they work a lot better. As a result, they will be a bit longer and, as previously reported, there are fewer of them. Due to these changes, we’re altering the release schedule a bit. New [...]

  21. Chiara Marra Says:

    HB going to end? Of sure for me it has symbolize a great resource of documentation for watching beyond commons media stories… so sad that this experience of tv on the web is coming to end but I hope that soon something similar can replace this event that I follow through the videos step by step. Hold on with this kind of projects!

    Good luck to Saif,Ausama and Adel and all the Iraqi people!

  22. Neil Hook Says:

    I haven’t commented before, but have really enjoyed (if that’s the right word) watching all these videos. Yes, it’s really sad if there are not going to be any more actual scenes of actual life in Baghdad. But i hope your plans to keep the information and exchanges going is successful. Good luck!

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