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Baghdad Arab cultural festival brings message of peace

Despite criticism of the celebration of Baghdad Capital of Arab Culture, the events, which were attended by a majority of Arab countries, left a positive impact on Iraq and conveyed a message of peace to the Arab peoples.
Visitors look at paintings during an art exhibition in Baghdad December 2, 2013. As part of its role as Capital of Arab culture of 2013, Baghdad hosted the three-day art exhibition featuring more than 500 sculptures and paintings of Iraqi and Arab artists. Artists from Syria, Lebanon and Morocco participated in the event which is considered the first of its kind since 1980s. Baghdad was named the 2013 Arab Capital of Culture by the Arab League, but the worst wave of bombings in Iraq in five years is taking
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Culture and art have somehow managed to succeed where politics failed, so to speak. Iraq has recently brought together huge delegations from most of the Arab countries, at the invitation of the Iraqi Ministry of Culture, to participate in the closing festival of events for the Baghdad Capital of Arab Culture 2013.

The year-long and final events had been subject to criticism on social networking pages by a group of intellectuals, artists and journalists from Iraq, amid talk about financial corruption associated with the events, to which half a billion dollars was allocated. Despite the criticism, these events have positively and significantly affected Iraq, especially in a period when the entire Middle East is going through political changes that had, in some way, an impact on the cultural, artistic, literary and media landscape.

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