Project Broken Heart of Baghdad / Cœur brisé de Bagdad

Project Broken Heart of Baghdad / Cœur brisé de Bagdad
Paper presented at “CONFLICT AND LIVING HERITAGE IN THE MIDDLE EAST” multidisciplinary academic conference run by (Ifpo) and AUIS on 10-11 May 2016 at Sulaimani, Kurdistan Autonomous Region of Iraq
May 10, 2016
Project Broken Heart of Baghdad was commissioned by the Iraq Project Management Organization (IPMO) to research the history of the Al-Bataween quarter of Baghdad from the days of the British Mandate in Mesopotamia until now. Bataween was a very posh part of Baghdad established by the British when they entered the city after the First World War. Baghdad’s Bataween was inhabited by wealthy and influential dignitaries during the days of the British rule and the Kingdom of Iraq. The British Mandate of Mesopotamia started in 1920 and ended after twelve years in 1932 when the Kingdom of Iraq was given independence. Today, 96 years later, Bataween has reportedly become a ghetto … with prostitution, drug dealing, creative forms of mugging & other crimes. Echoes of Bataween’s glorious past remain until today such as the Armenian Church, the Meir Taweig Synagogue, the only synagogue still active in Baghdad and the tomb of Gertrude Bell who played a major role in establishing the state of Iraq during the period of the British rule.
This first phase of the project is ongoing and will include, if possible, field trips to the quarter and interviews with key figures such as the chief of police, the manager of the municipality director, those in charge of the Muslim, Christian and Jewish places of worship as well as local business owners and residents. The second phase will focus on trying to find an answer to the question “How to mend the broken heart of Baghdad?”
It is proposed to organize a seminar based on a PowerPoint presentation which relies heavily on audio-visual material to give an overview of the project to audiences inside Iraq as well as internationally. The presentation will be composed originally in English and can be delivered in Arabic, Kurdish and French by different speakers either at the same time or subsequently.

uayicProject Broken Heart of Baghdad / Cœur brisé de Bagdad