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Iraqi folk poets face criticism

Some Iraqi intellectuals say the the spread of folk poems butchers the classic Arabic language and serve the interests of political parties.
An Iraqi soldier stands guard below the Statue of Mutanabbi, a 10th century poet and one of the towering figures of Arabic literature, on the banks of the Tigris River in Baghdad December 16, 2011. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani (IRAQ - Tags: SOCIETY MILITARY) - RTR2VBFQ

Many Iraqis recite folk poetry, which is written in colloquial Arabic, stating support for the Popular Mobilization Units and for the fight against the Islamic State. These poems can be found on satellite TV channels, social networking sites and Iraqi radio stations. The widespread phenomenon in Iraqi society has outweighed other forms of creativity and arts such as poetry in classical Arabic and drawing.

“Some people recite folk poetry for money, while others think of pursuing careers as poets instead of becoming doctors or engineers for instance,” folk poet Haidar al-Shamari told Al-Monitor.

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