In the mean time they are already safety home in their country Iraq. Mr. Abdul Hassan Obaid Azzouz Al – Ziadi the Deputy president of the Businessmen in Diwaniya

and Mr. Abdul Kareem Hatef engineer. They both living in Diwaniya.

They visited me a couple of days ago to pick up het DVD I made from the day in the workshop in Volendam.

Kareem invited me to go with me to Babylon when we will be there in November.

I also met one of these days Theo de Feyter. He has translated into Dutch the Gigamesj- Epos.

And at the presentation he will reed from clay tablet 11. I am very happy with it and he liked the project very much.

Also to give positive attention to Iraq and especially the Land between the two rivers our heritage! Dorinde is very busy with making connections with the press.

I am very happy with our collaboration it is very inspiring and fortuned to bring our net works together.


Presentation in Arcam

On the first of October at 16.00 there will be a presentation in Arcam (Dutch Architecture institute) in Amsterdam. I am very happy to get the chance to tell about the project .

This I will do in corporation with Ahmed Faraj.

Subjects will be:


Floating islands


A Dutch entrepreneur who is going to build house in Mesopotamia under the guidance of Ahmed Faraj

and of course more.


This was my floating island five years ago.




Here you see the official invitation from Mr. Al Marsome for our project in the Marshlands. I am very exited. The recordings of last week are almost ready into a document done by the cameraman and editor P. Van Gils. I am happy that the Iraqi guest are still here so I can give it to them personally and hopefully at the same time have a little chat with them about my plan of moving a traditional guest house ( Mudhif)  from there to here. What do they think about it? I almost wanted to used the word -really- what do they really think about it but perhaps it takes time to find that out on a more profound level.



Today I spoke with a sad Ahmed. He just found out that there will be a census in Iraqi just when we are there. That means we have to stay in house for these 3 days.

So our travel is again postponed. We leave now on the first of November. Thomas Bartels the cameraman is able to change his program. I don’t know about Sam Simons (sound engineer) and Dorinde De Tempe. Ahmed had a deep sigh and said, “This is Iraq”.  But there is also a good thing on it the climate is less warm then!




breezeAll the lands were sea…

Gilimma bound reeds upon the face of the waters,

He formed soil and poured it out beside the reeds.

He filled in a dike by the side of the sea,

He made a swamp, he formed a marshland he brought it into existence.

quotation out of the Gilgamesj-Epos

This poem left Dorinde on my wall on face book. It is a big contrast

with the situation where I was in today.

Iraqi and Dutch constructors were working on a housing project for the Marshlands in Volendam (small village in Holland). So for the Iraqi engineer it was the first time he was in Europe. And he was experiencing a playground full of possibilities. The drawing of the house became lively and suddenly not right anymore by seeing of the real houses and the possibilities. The kitchen had to move to another place and the windows had to change because of the breeze and the North West.. They also needed double doors because of the dust. The whole day was also a big confrontation with the different attitudes from the East and the West. We assume a lot. On my question why they like to buy houses in the Netherlands they answer that 60 years ago the Netherlands build houses there and they are still there! And people are very enthusiastic when they know that the houses come from the West! I really would like to know more about it but my Arabic is very very poor and I noticed through the translator that they aren’t used to be questioned about these things. I am some times too direct. Philip filmed everything and will make a nice document for them so they have something when they go back. Next time when I see them I want to ask them what they think about my plan bringing a Mudhef (Guesthouse from reed) to here. One thing is for sure when I am in Iraq I want to go deep in the marshlands. Because like I heard to day it is really disappearing very quick.




transplantationTo day on this Memorial Day that the Americans are officially giving back the power to the Iraqi people two men arrived here on Schiphol. They are Mr. Abdulhassan Al Ziadi and Mr. Abdulkarim Hatif Al Zubaidi coming here with a mission. In Volendam are waiting two prefab house on them before they will be shipped to Iraq. These days they have to find out if those house are a solution for the housings problems in the Marshlands. But at the end it is the mission of Ahmed Karim Faraj. He has worked on this plan the last two years and I follow him very intense on this for the last year. Tomorrow very early I go together with my cameraman Philip to document this encounter between the guest from Iraq and the houses. And of course they have to talk with the company Veerman (the inventors of this kind of house with the EPS system). Ahmed told me that this is a unique happening for them and then of course also for us. Visiting a foreign country where a passionate Iraqi fellow makes himself a lot of concerns about the living condition in their homeland. For me I see a similarity with organ transplantation, will the body accepted this strange organ or rejected it. I think this process is starting very visible tomorrow and I am going to watch it in Volendam and following it to Iraq in six weeks time.

Taking mesures


This morning I get a phone call from Ahmed Al Faraj  I fit was possible that the women in our project could sent their measures to mr Caib Al- Marsoomy . When we arrive their our locale clothes will be ready. I got such warm, welcome and happy feeling through this that I felt that the time was now good for starting the blog of my next project.  We are now working on it. It will take place in The Marshlands in Mesopotamia. The land between the Euphrates and the Tigris. The next week I will write about our preparations to go there. So Dorinde de Tempe is coming here tomorrow and we will measure each other. I think our tale is not so important for their way of clothing but the size of the hips, breast and our length.

Dorinde is graduated in Middle East Studies and Photographer.

Mr. Ahmed Al Faraj  is The initiator and developer of the housing project and lives in The Netherlands.

Mr. Chai Al- Marsoomy lives in Iraq and is head of the Iraqi Society for marshes Restoration and Development. He will be our guide when we are there.  And me I am an artist an the initiator of the project and I do the production.


Havana City One Minutes presentation


Almost two weeks there was the presentation of the one minutes movies in Lasa. (laboratorio artistico de sanaugustin). All the movie makers and their friends were present and even a lot of inhabitants from san Augustin.  I was very surprised by the reactions. Of course I had my fixed moments were I had to laugh or smile . But this did not happen during the viewing almost every body was looking silently.  There were almost no reactions. After the last video…loud applause. The movie had a lot of very intimated moments. They were touched by their own lives and also from their neighbour.  It was by moments a look in their own kitchen as we say in Dutch. The  première of the movie will take place during the Dutch Cultural week in Havana from 13 till 18 October.


Almost all the one minutes are in my laptop now. It is great material and I decided on the viewing on saturday to show all the work. At home in my studio I will make the final selection.

Still some images from Havana City

Sunday 2 August

Sunday 2 August

I decided to leave my holiday place Soroa one day earlier. Friday I arrived and to morrow waking up with the sound of Cubans on holiday I decided that it was enough to be out of my work and I did everything the travel Gide has speak about. I visited the orchid garden; I did my mountain climbing to the highest peak in the surrounding about 400 metres, I went to the swimming pool and the most important I stood under the waterfall. And by this all I ran into two people who I shared this all with. Anita she is Holland and Stefan from Surinam.  And what happens by speaking my mother’s language after so many days my personal waterfall break trough. And that was refreshing for me.

I had a small conversation with the receptionist about the hotel because I wonder how their policy was with Cuban people in the hotel. She told that just two months they had a new rule that Cuban’s were allowed to come in the swimming pool for the day time for 7 CUC and with a lunch and drink for 10 CUC. Staying at the hotel for one night it was 20 CUC. So she was very happy and with a big smile she told me:” Imagine five years that to day Cuban people could stay in the hotel it is unbelievable. Changing’s she said are coming very slowly but they come. I think it is great Soroa hotel full of Cuban people with tourist from aboard who likes the Cuban way of partying. This all is born out of the economic crises because the hotel had a lack on tourist so the y made this surveying strategy. I think it is a very positive side effect of this “crises”.

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