Akathemia city

akathemiacityThree days ago I spoke with Sattar in Baghdad through the phone. The connection was very bad and I asked him if it was possible to send me an email. So fortunately to day when i wake up it was there. He wrote it already very early in the morning. He told me once that the electricity now is on a very low level because of the heat. So in the morning the most air-conditions are still off.. so the computer can do his job! So this is what he wrote:

On the 8 of June I filmed Akathemia city (a holy place Mosque) Akathemia market, Alzawraa (zoo) and the fair. The Tigris and a fish restaurant near the Tigris.I filmed a funeral also in neighbourhood of the mosque. On the seven of June I went to the academia of fine arts and the film school. Students where just working on their exams at the fine art department. Afterwards I went to the audio department. The next day in the hospital unfortunately I was not allowed to film. They did not wanted it any more so I put the camera in my bag and went away. The day after I filmed a hairdresser, a wedding party and the Shala Market and The Om Kolthoum Café. I also was on the famous Alzareed Street. There was a flourishing book market before the war. At five o’clock in the morning I filmed the people sleeping on the roof. At six I saw a pigeon fancier. So till now I made 9 movies.

I am very happy and I am very eager to go and work with the material. Next Saturday he will be home again. I am very grateful to the work he is doing. He himself has very mixed feelings about being there and last Friday The moderate leader of the largest Sunni bloc in parliament has been killed. He was mentioned in the paper here as a bridge builder between the several parties. And i am afraid this will not stop in the coming month…I wonder who has invented WAR. I know the question sound stupid but still I think it is valid.



famousYesterday I had a phone call with Sattar. He was just home from the Art school whit also the film – and music academy inside. They were passing their exams and  sattar invited them to make a oneminut of it and they also filmed Sattrar filming. Fortunately he was with his other brother who is a famous actor in Baghdad and this saved him again out of hands of he police. It is just forbidden to film. I am very excited and happy that Baghdad will be inside the project. There are almost always ways…

more information www.theage.com.au/…/ 04/25/1145861348159.htm


Monument for the Martyr

Iraqi soldiers walk in front of the Martyr's monument in Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, Feb. 28, 2009. The Iraqi military recently took control of the monument from the U.S. military. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

Iraqi soldiers walk in front of the Martyr’s monument in Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, Feb. 28, 2009. The Iraqi military recently took control of the monument from the U.S. military. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

This morning I called Sattar to see how he was. I get no connection. He wrote already about the bad electricity conditions at this moment for the ‘normal” Iraqi who don’t live in the green zone. And sometimes just the connection is very bad. So I went to my Saturday morning sport but I felt uneasy with it. For the same the police caught him because of his filming. Coming home a couple of hour s later I called him again. “Oh Anne I am just home for 15 minutes he said”. He was on the police station. Because his brother who is a poet and writer was with him and the policeman recognized him as a friend of his brother they were lucky. Sattar was at that moment filming the monument for the Martyr and he wanted to get close by but that was the thing. You are not allowed to do so. It is very hard to film just on the street so they have to film out of the car and the car was to close to the monument…. We spoke about it and he will go to the minister of culture to ask for a permit. Sattar now is relieved and decided to stay home today. To morrow morning he has an appointment at half past five in the morning with a doctor to go to the hospital to film. Sattar your doing a great job!


Friday the fifth of June

Last Thursday I made the decision not to go to Baghdad at this moment. Too much “noise” around it. The direct reason was that they told me on Wednesday that in spite of the official invitation I got from the minister of the marches I perhaps got a visa in two days or perhaps not. “Miss Anne has to understand that this was an invitation of an inner ministry and I needed one from foreign affairs.” So this was too much for me and for the first time I really felt to less back up in Baghdad it self. The next day I got a phone call that my visa has arrived in The Hague. I was shake for one moment what to do? I felt I stay with my decision it was not easy but wise!

Within a month the Minister of the Marches will come to Holland I will meet him and also Mr. Marsoomy who is head of the de Iraqi Society For Marshes Restoration and Development. And I think in the fall, I will make a beautiful trip to the old land of Mesopotamia and also go to Bagdad to make some one minutes. In the meanwhile Sattar is in Bagdad I will write how he is and what he is doing. I think he is happy in a way that I am not coming because my safety counted very heavy for him. These pictures Mr Marsoomy sent me out of The Marshlands.


Here and not here

I am still here but my other part has already left for Baghdad. If every thing has worked out how we planned I was now sitting next to Sattar in the plane and we were looking to the map of Baghdad and studying the cameras. But unfortunately my visa is not here yet. A week ago I got a very helpful telephone cal from the embassy. A friendly voice told me: Miss Anne we have good news your visa will be here within two days. After two days it became a week and now I hope every day…so I can travel.

Why Bagdhad

Two months go I took the decision to exchange Havana for Baghdad. At this moment they’re about 40 cities, which are part of this one minute city project. I thought by my self which city is in important in that range of cities that will be show on the world expo in Shanghai in 2010. And immediately Baghdad came to my mind. Immediately I felt a lot of energy by thinking of going there. I asked Sattar Al-Saadi a good friend of mine to do this project together with me. He is born in Baghdad and lives and works as a musician already 15 years in Holland. He is very motivated to show the world different pictures as the images, daily passes us by.

His brother is a well knowing performer in Baghdad so perhaps he likes to join in also. It is very important in this movie that different people show what they like or dislike on the city. So we got a kind of overall image. Impossible of course but it is worth for trying. Great deals of my preparations are on security. I read books of journalist who have been there. I think! I know to behave there…. To day I was surprised to see  Sattar with a starting beard but of course this is for security. Although he is an Iraqi they will see on him that he is not living there so…at least you try to look as one of them. In my suitcase I have an abiya that is a long black dress with long sleeves, a hijab, that is a kind of veil, big black sunglasses black panty socks and black shoes. Filming with all of this will be a big adventure. I just found this web site with instructions how to wear the hijab. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1tYfBNfqgU)




Baghdad foundednd in 762 under the name Madinat as Salem means city of peace

Beginning of June I start again with writing when I leave for Baghdad


Oneminutes of Cairo

الزملاء الأعزاء

نتشرف بدعوتكم لحضور عرض “بورتريه مدينة القاهرة – 24 دقيقة” , و الذي سيتم في ستوديو فينيكس – الساعة 19:30 يوم 5 مايو 2009

العنوان : 58 شارع سوريا , المهندسين – الدور الأول , ستوديو فينيكس (فوق معرض نيسان)

الحضور مجانا و يمكنكم دعوة الأصدقاء

آنا فيرهويزن

—Dear Friends

Here by I invited you heartily to the presentation of Cairo city portrait 24.

The presentation shall be in FENIX the workspace from Tarik Sadouma.

Time 19.30.

Address 58 Syria street Mohandesseen Giza

Fenix is a above an Nissan auto shop

You’re most welcome to bring friends


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[dutch]Zondag 3 mei[/dutch][english]Sunday 3 of May[/english]


Zondag 3 mei

Ik zit in mijn laatste dagen. Eerlijk gezegd verlang ik naar Huis. Ik heb genoeg van het lawaai, de stof en de smog maar waar ik vooral genoeg van heb en moeilijk mee om kan gaan is de manier hoe men hier over het algemeen met afspraken omgaat. Bijvoorbeeld zondag gisteren dus. Ik was bezig om een presentatie te organiseren van het gezamenlijke werk. Via een vriend had ik contact met een Galerie helaas verbonden met de gouvernement en waarom helaas. Als deze galerie houder gebeld wordt door een baas boven hem moet hij onmiddellijk al zijn afspraken afzeggen die beneden hem zijn. Met het gevolg  toen we vanochtend in de taxi zaten we afgebeld werden of we vanmiddag konden komen . Helaas had ik mijn afspraken juist verzet omdat hij had gevraagd om zo vroeg mogelijk te komen.  Heb mijn afspraak dus maar laten schieten en laat de hele presentatie schieten. Helaas. Omdat iemand anders zich helemaal niet aan de afspraak heeft gehouden moet ik nog een extra minuut filmen Dus  ik vind het wel goed zo.  De filmpjes zijn stuk voor stuk authentiek en daar ging het toch om… En toen een paar uur later kwam Adham Youssef zijn werk brengen en Hayam kwam ook binnen lopen. De teleurstelling op hun gezicht was zo groot toen ik hun mede deelde dat er geen presentatie zou zijn dat ik besloot om dat besluit uit frustratie geboren maar te laten varen.  Adham maakte de uitnodiging en Hayam verwende me met een heerlijke perzik en we gaan ervoor.

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Sunday 3 of May

I am in my last days here and to be truth i really want to go home. I am fat up of the noise, the dust and the smog but especially it is hard for me to deal with how the general attitude is towards appointments.  Par example last Sunday. I am busy with organizing an event to show our work to each other and family and friends. I had an appointment with a gallerist whose gallery is connected to the government unfortunately. Why unfortunately because when somebody calls him who is higher in the sty stem he has to cancel immediately every appointment that is below him. So what happened?

Just when we were in the taxi on our way to him he called to cancel our meeting and asked it for the afternoon. Because yesterday he wanted an earlier meeting I had canceld  all my appointment’s. So I let this appointment go. And if it was not enough somebody an artist did not show up at all. No call no email anything. I realized that she dumped her raw material on my computer so after all I understood the message so I started editing and will shoot tomorrow morning a new movie. No presentation I just use these days to stroll through the city and rest. Take lunch with Hayam in the Nile Hotel and by some presents for home. By the way I am very happy with the movies each of them is very authentic and that is where it all started about…isn’t it. And a couple of hours later then came Adham Youssef along and Hayam and I told them I was really fat up with it. No presentation and the disappointment on their face was so big that I decided to give up. Adham helped me with the invitation. Hayam brought me delicious peaches and we just go for it.

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[dutch]Woensdag 29 april[/dutch][english]Wednesday 29 of April[/english]


Woensdag 29 april.

Vandaag had ik op een onverwacht moment  een fel politiek gesprek met een vrouw hier in het dorpje Sidi Salim. Hayam haar familie woont hier. Tegen de avond liepen we aan de  rand van haar dorp. Ze  wilde  mij haar verleden laten zien maar  had dat zelf niet meer betreden de laatste 14 jaar. Ze werd herkend, stevig omarmd alsof er  een verloren dochter thuiskwam.  Het was ontroerend om  te zien hoe blij ze beide waren. En natuurlijk volgde hierop het onverbeterlijke kopje thee. Daar werd ik plotseling stevig aan de tand gevoeld over mijn politieke gedachten ten aanzien van het Palestina conflict. Het was duidelijk Amerika was de grote boosdoener en de angst was groot dat als Egypte zou veranderen Amerika hetzelfde hier zou doen als ze in Irak gedaan hadden. Ik vertelde over een gesprek wat ik een week geleden heb gevoerd met een Israëlische Palestijn die ik in Cairo ontmoeten. Hij wist zeker dat er geen oplossing voor Palestina kwam voordat er een oorlog in de  Arabische landen zou uit breken. Met andere woorden de oorlog zou de oplossing brengen. Syrie had al aangekondigd nooit vrede te zullen hebben met de inneming van Israel van de  Golian Hoogte. Nu deze mevrouw beaamde dat. Haar informatie kwam behalve van de TV ook uit de koran daar schijnt deze Arabische oorlog al lang voorspeld te zijn. Deze oorlog zal zo’n verschuiving te weeg brengen  en daarin zit de  oplossing voor Palestina. De Arabische  landen moeten een vuist maken”.Deze vrouw was onderwijzeres op de  plaatselijk lagere school. Sterk, gedreven en zwanger van haar tweede kind.

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Wednesday 29 of April

Today i had on an unexpected moment a quiet energetic politic debate whit a woman here in the village Sisi Salim. Hayam her family lives here .It was almost sunset that we decided to make a walk on the outside of her village. She wanted me to show her past what she did not enter for herself the last 14 years. When she comes to visit her family she almost did not leave the house. But what happened, people recognized her and hugged her emotional. It was touching to see it. And of course the next step is this famous cup of thee. Suddenly a woman with her face veiled came in and introduced herself as  Amal. After that she showed her face and asked me what I thought about the political situation in Palestine. The topic was quick on America. It was clear America was the cause of everything. – It is most powerful country on earth and still they do nothing on the situation of the Palestine. Obama does make any difference. It is almost writing in the scripts of America they have a big plan To interfere in every Muslim country. And as long the Arabs are dived there will be no solution.- I told them of a meeting I had last week whit an Israelite/ Palestine man. He said that there was only one solution for Palestine and that was a war in the Arab countries with Israel. Syria will never accept that hey  have lost the Golian height. Amal thoughts so besides that it was written in the Koran that there will be a big war between the Arab Countries.

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[dutch]Woendsdag 22 April[/dutch][english]Wednesday 22 of April[/english]


Woendsdag 22 April

S’ochtends waren Salah en ik al vroeg in de oude binnen stad om te filmen voor een minuut. Het wordt een filmpje over de Al-Mu’izz street. Hij is 4800 meter lang en de meest geconserveerde straat in Cairo. Prachtige bouwkunst. Het is ook een hele schone straat overal  straatvegers die elk peukje waarnemen. Helaas belet dat de doorsnee Cairoees niet om alles op de grond te gooien. Er is ook geen enkele prullenbak. Ik weet niet wat de reden is. In Istanbul zijn die er niet om bandieten  geen kans te geven om er explosief materiaal in te stoppen hier ik weet het niet.  Soms denk ik hier wel eens aan het Ster spotje in Nederland over hou u straat schoon. Dat zou hier geen overbodige luxe zijn. Niet in de hoofdstraten die zijn redelijk tot goed schoon maar zodra je een blik in een zijstraat werpt zwermen de plastic tassen en vuilnishopen je tegemoet. Mensen zijn niet gemotiveerd om maar iets voor de stad te doen als het niet direct met hun eigen stoeptegel te maken heeft. Het land is van Moebarak en er is geen verbinding naar de Egyptenaren zelf. Het is overleven en de rijken worden steeds rijker en de rest ah ja IN SHALLA!

Maar goed terug naar de Al-Mu’izz street vele mannen zagen er op zijn zondags uit. Mooie Djellaba’s ,witte tulbanden en mooi gedrapeerde ruimvallende sjaals . En niet een paar soeffi’s maar erg veel. Het waren vooral oudere mannen.  Hoe zie je nu aan oudere vrouwen dat het een feestdag is?  Op de eerste plaats lopen die al niet zo vaak  in groepjes ontspannen over straat. Zitten  vaak in groepjes een beetje op straat en een beetje verscholen…. en meestal lopen ze gehaasts zoals ik al eerder schreef, vaak met plastic zakken en of een kind op de schouder. Oudere vrouwen zijn meestal ook echt dikker dus  veel wijde stof en aan die stof zal wel te zien zijn dat het feest is. Ik let vaak op de zoom. Als die vies is wil dat vaak zeggen dat die vrouw niet veel keus heeft welke ze aan zal doen. Ik denk ook veel af te kunnen lezen aan de schoenen die ze aan hebben en hoe verzorg die eruit zien. Maar goed, wat blijkt, vandaag is er weer een feestdag en wel van Al Hussein Mouled . Uit heel Egypte zijn de mensen naar Cairo getrokken en bezetten met rieten matten,  gaskomfoors en grote tassen de binnenplekken van huizenblokken. Het woord bezetten klinkt erg illegaal maar voor deze gelegenheid geeft men toestemming. Meestal zijn het weer “bekenden” van vrienden…..

Hayam Abeldel Baky  heeft tussen 2.00 en 3.00 uur  in het ochtendgloren een prachtige film geschoten.  Soeffi’s dansen de Zikr. Het is prachtig gefilmd en een uniek moment kan geen derwisj voorstelling in een theater aan tippen.

Hierbij stills uit de film ZIKR.

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Wednesday 22 of April

Unfortunately my translator is not able any more to take care of my text in Dutch. So i try now to write something in English by my self but…….forgive me my mistakes.

This morning Sahla and me where are already very early on the road to make a one minute of the de Al-Mu’izz -Din Allah street. It is a very old street with still a lot of beautiful Muslim architecture. The street is 4800 meters long

and not influents by modern times. It is a place where a lot of tourist likes to go so there is contestant cleaning!

To day it was also the celebration day of Al Hussein Mouled. A lot of Dervish from all over Egypt came to Cairo to celebrated. Hayam shoot a wonderful video during 2.00 and 3.00 of dancing dervish. So I took a couple of stills out of it.

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