Face to face with Saif

A week ago a monumental landmark was achieved for Hometown Baghdad. We didn’t reach ten billion views. A sudden traffic overload did not shut down our site. We didn’t translate the videos into any new language. Nothing like that. But this milestone is in many ways even more important and even more exciting. A Hometown Baghdad viewer from America met Saif face-to-face in Jordan! I think this is so incredibly cool. After the experience of watching HTB, I know many of us count Saif, Ausama, Zaid, and Adel among our friends. But there is something really special about a viewer of the series showing up in Amman and crashing at Saif’s place. I know I’m jealous.

Here’s the story (as related to me by Saif):

Kate Jordan was watching episode 17 of HTB, “Hubbly Bubbly,” and she started thinking, “Mmm, that looks good.” Sometime around then, Saif left a comment on the blog inviting anyone to come try his hookah in Jordan. That was three months ago. Coincidentally, Kate and her friend Dan Irby had been planning a back packing trip through the Middle East. They got in touch with Saif and told him they were taking him up on his shisha offer. And Saif not only obliged but he invited them to stay in a spare room in his apartment. So Kate and Dan spent four days with Saif, smoking the shisha, hanging out with his family, doing some sightseeing together, and watching the Iraqi soccer team coast to victory. Kate and Dan are keeping a blog about their trip. The most recent post tells of their first impressions of Amman.

Dan, Saif and Kate in Saif’s apartment

Saif’s family welcomes Kate and Dan

The real reason Kate and Dan came to Amman!

So who’s next? Who’s going to visit Ausama in Kurdistan? Who’s going to hang with Adel wherever he may be?

8 Responses to “Face to face with Saif”

  1. Zaid U. Says:

    thats a great event , mostly for saif , i wish i could meet anyone of the three here in Damascus ,, even Kate or Dan , im a huge fan of HTB and mike !

    so if anyone know or could meet in damascus that would be so great , even arrange a meeting for all HTB wathcers here …….

    keep up the good work …

  2. Karenne Says:

    AMAZING!!!! Really amazing!

  3. E. George Says:

    I think the Beatles were talking about people like you when they sang “Give peace a chance”….Bravo, Saif and the other 3 young men of HTB. Well done! I especially liked the episodes about going swimming in the pool at an abandoned house, and about the violence the little boys witnessed on their street… Wishing you all the best from Santa Barbara, CA. =^..^=

  4. jlevel Says:

    should any one of these brothers Adel, Saif,Ausama, desire to leave that very unhappy country… they (you) are more than welcome to EspaƱa. I am an american in exile, a painter, writer and film maker. Poor but happy with a plan. i’m very sorry for what that country (u.s.a.) has decided to do…. immoral at best, so they are.

    read the blog Jlevel77.blogspot.com
    and as for you three, we will find you a place to sleep in my home and the homes of my friends, i promise. sincerly, Jesse Level

  5. Tracy Says:

    I’m jealous, too! That’s really awesome. If I ever travel in that area I’d like to meet with any of the HTB boys :) It really would feel like reuniting with old friends.

  6. fawaz Says:

    well,i watched your video on CNN,its just amazing .i wish you all good luck and hope that peace will prevail at the end and all we (iraqis)go back to our hometown

  7. Chris Says:

    Hey Saif,

    My wife and I are going to be traveling to N.Cyprus next week for a friend’s wedding. After that we have 10 days to travel around the area and I thought we might be able to meet up with you in Amman. If you send me an email we can coordinate… (cmerrikh at brandeis.edu)

    BTW, thanks for posting all those videos, this website is FANTASTIC. Keep up the good work!

    - Chris

  8. Teresa Piz Says:

    I love reading every word you writte here and I think you are doing an amazing thing! I linked hometownbaghdad to every person I know. Its amazing. Here in Portugal we also care about everything that is happening in Iraq and for me…well, I love someone from your country..what more can I say? Keep the strenght and the ability of smiling..you all have the most beautiful smiles on the planet! Thank you for teaching us so many things…

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