Mesopotamian Forum for Art and Culture

by Weam Namou

The Minaret of Samarra

The Minaret of Samarra

Mesopotamian Forum for Art and Culture held its monthly meeting today at Abu Nawas. My husband said he’d watch the kids so I happily prepared dinner, tidied up the house and then lo and behold, my daughter decided to throw a tantrum because her dad couldn’t take her to the dollar store. I tried everything to pacify her frustrations, even considered not going to the meeting, but she kept at it until she knocked onto our beige rug the bowl of curry stew I was feeding her brother. That got me to quickly change clothes, grab my purse and head out the door!

MFAC was established in February 2012, and since that very short time, they’ve held five successful events, two of which I had the honor of participating in. Today’s meeting was to establish the New Year’s activities. On their agenda are lectures on story-telling, poetry readings, theatrical plays, cinema and an art gallery. Nabil Roumaya, one of the founders of MFAC once said to me, “We want to ignite the cultural awareness that was once present in Iraq in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.”

Civilization was born in ancient Mesopotamia over 7,000 years ago. That is where writing, astronomy and science were invented. The first school, law, literature, map of the world, and the idea of dividing time and space into a multiple of 60’s started in this historic land. The first writer in recorded history was Enheduanna, a woman from ancient Iraq. She lived, composed, and taught roughly 2,000 years before Aristotle. Man’s most important invention, the wheel, was devised in Mesopotamia, as was plumbing, the plow and the sailboat. Like other Iraqi-American organizations in Michigan, MFAC, which consists of a number of distinguished artists, writers and intellectuals, attempts to shine light on a culture that only small groups of people know about.

When I returned home, my daughter apologized for her earlier behavior and my son threw a couple of tantrums because I wouldn’t let him play with the butter knives.