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- May 13, 2002
- Vol. 57
- No. 18
Boffo in Baghdad
It's Springtime for Saddam as the Dictator Gets Credit for An Iraqi Theatrical Epic
"Sent my spirits soaring into the no-fly zone!"
"It's Saddam best show in town!" Alas, it's too bad Broadway critics didn't get a chance to review the Baghdad premiere of Zabibah and the King, a play based on a novel widely believed to have been written by Iraqi President, Prime Minister and Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council Saddam Hussein. The book, which the state-run paper Al Mawed called "an epic teaching to love one's homeland, despite all danger," reportedly received only enthusiastic reviews and sold out in Baghdad bookstores.
And the play? Culture Minister Hamed Youssef Hammadi called its April 26 debut—attended by 400 handpicked guests—"a glittering event in the record of Arab theatre." After the show, one theatergoer said the performance was, in fact, no Iraqi horror show. "Very impressive," said the spectator. "The effects and costumes were marvelous."
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