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Iraqis divided over new national anthem

Although Saddam Hussein’s regime fell more than a decade ago, Iraqi political disputes have prevented the country from adopting a new national anthem.
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Given that the Iraqi parliament has not agreed on a new national anthem, Adel Najman, an Iraqi musician living in Australia, decided to compose music for the poem “Salam Ala Hadabat al-Iraq” ("Peace on the Hills of Iraq") by the late poet Muhammad Mahdi al-Jawahiri. It's one of the three poems that have been competing for the national anthem for years in the Iraqi parliament.

Najman told Al-Monitor by phone from Australia: “After the [political] dispute impeded the selection of a national anthem, I decided not to wait any longer and I started composing music for Jawahiri’s poem. We performed it with a group of Iraqi guys in Australia, while a foreign band played the music. Then, we presented it to the Iraqi Embassy in Canberra.”

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