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Baghdad, Capital of Arab Culture 2013 … Hopefully

Baghdad was named the Capital of Arab Culture for 2013; however, when one compares Iraq’s political disarray to the country’s shining cultural achievements, a paradox becomes painfully clear, writes Clovis Maksoud.
Residents visit the Spiral Minaret of the Great Mosque in Samarra, 100 km (62 miles) north of Baghdad August 30, 2011. REUTERS/Stringer (IRAQ - Tags: RELIGION TRAVEL) - RTR2QJM1

Baghdad is the capital of Arab culture for the year 2013 — timing agreed upon by the Arab states a few years ago. Every year, on a rotating basis, one of the Arab capitals is selected as the capital for Arab culture.

To celebrate Iraq’s contribution to Arab culture is not only legitimate but also necessary. To rediscover the wealth of what modern Iraq has contributed to the enrichment of Arab nationalism, progressive and secular values, and the inspiration of its poets, musicians, and artists in a humanist and nationalist bent, is much needed for the Iraqis and the entire Arab nation.

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