Monday, 8 September 2008

Memorial meeting in Holland
for Iraq's martyr Kamil Shiaa

A memorial meeting for the prominent Iraqi intellectual and communist, Kamel Shiaa, was held on Friday 5th September in the city of Den Haag (The Hague). The event, organised by the Iraqi Communist Party organisation in Holland, was attended by numerous intellectuals; writers and artists, as well as comrades and friends of Kamil who had been deeply shocked by his cowardly assassination in Baghdad on 23 August 2008. Among the participants was the well-known Egyptian thinker Dr. Nasr Hamid Abu Zaid.

The program of the event included numerous speeches, delivered by representatives of political, democratic, cultural and community organisations, strongly condemning the crime and demanding urgent action by the Iraqi authorities to pursue and punish the perpetrators. The long list of organisations included branches of Iraqi Women's League and Iraqi Democratic Youth Federation.

Among speakers were artists and writers, including the literary critic Yassin al-Nasier who had met Kamel in Baghdad in the summer. He said that the killers "wanted to strike the heart, so they struck the Communist party.. They wanted to strike the culture, so they killed an intellectual renowned for his tolerance." Poems were recited, and a piece of music composed by Qassim al-Sa'idi was played in memory of Kamil. The program also included a musical performance by Wisam Ayoub on the traditional instrument santur, as well as an exhibition of four paintings by artist Qassim al-Sa'di, about Baghdad and a life that is full of pain and hope, dedicated to Kamil who loved art so much.

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