Friday, December 01, 2006

Waleed Hassan RIP

From The Scotsman via Arabic Network for Human Rights Information.
ONE of Iraq's best known TV satirists was shot dead on his way to work yesterday.

Waleed Hassan's Caricature show was unmissable for Iraqis seeking a release in laughter from the blood and chaos around them. He poked fun at sectarian violence, bickering politicians, the US forces and power blackouts.
Waleed Hassan, a Shiite in his 40s, was one of five actors in Caricature. Iraqis weary of the tumult around them have turned to the show to watch the cast portray policemen taking bribes and government officials whose main goal in life is to line their own pockets then leave the country.

In one episode, Hassan said: "Iraqi policemen in a convoy were firing in the air in order to make their way through my neighbourhood yesterday, and they used more ammunition than the Russians did to break the siege on Stalingrad."

For fan Faris Naeem, 35, Hassan's killing was heartbreaking.

"The assassination of this actor is another sign of Iraq's chaos. The criminals who are targeting actors, athletes and other public figures want to keep the blood flowing over any sign of humanity and culture," said Mr Naeem, owner of a TV repair shop in Baghdad.

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