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Iraqi intellectuals to form cultural council with temporary base in Jordan

Iraqi intellectuals to form cultural council with temporary base in Jordan

Some 180 Iraqi intellectuals said Wednesday they will form a council to protect their cultural heritage and fight sectarianism through writing, painting and educating the public.
The Iraqi Council for Culture will officially be launched in a meeting to take place in Jordan on May 14, according to a written statement made available to The Associated Press.
A 180-strong founding committee said the emerging body comprises poets, writers, musicians, journalists and other professionals living in Iraq and other countries. It also includes some members of the Saddam Hussein's disbanded Arab Baath Socialist Party.
The group will be temporarily based in this Jordanian capital and will move to Iraq when calm prevails, the statement said.
"The council aims to protect Iraqi art and cultural heritage and fight the forces of darkness, sectarianism and discrimination, which are targeting Iraq's educated and intellectual elite, including doctors, pharmacists, scientists, journalists and others," it added.
The five-page statement did not specifically spell out the intellectuals' plan to fight sectarianism. But it quoted brief excerpts of a draft internal regulation, which said that the council will seek to "spread culture, tolerance and democracy among the Iraqis irrelevant of their religion, sect or ethnic background."
Members plan to rally others to join, including those who fled their country following the 2003 U.S.-led war and those who escaped hardships under Saddam's deposed regime, the statement said.
The founding committee was created during a meeting that took place in Jordan six weeks ago. The founding committee includes former Iraqi Planning Minister Mehdi Hafeth, Arabic pop signer Ilham al-Madfai, painter Nouri al-Rawi and former information ministry official and Baath party member Nouri al-Marsoumi.


Updated : 2021-05-08 22:40 GMT+08:00