Thursday, December 29, 2005

IRAQ History e-Newsletter - December 2005

Inside This Issue:

1. IRAQ: Jewish Library’s Fate
2. IRAQ’s Manuscripts Suffer Under Occupation
3. Announcements
4. Introducing the Historians Behind This Newsletter
5. The Purpose of These Monthly E-Newsletters & How To Join This Group List

(*_*)


Holiday Greetings From all of us the Writing/Editing and Translating/Research TEAMS of the Iraq History Group. May 2006 bring us together toward more understanding of IRAQ and its history!

1. IRAQ’s Jewish Library’s Fate
Translated to English by Wafaa’ Al-Natheema


آخــر تحديــــث 2004-06-11 الاحتلال يتيح للكيان نقل مكتبة يهودية من العراق عمرها 25 قرناً


كشفت مصادر عراقية أن جهاز الاستخبارات “الإسرائيلي” (موساد) تمكن من السيطرة على أكبر مكتبة يهودية أثرية في العراق، كانت محفوظة في دائرة المخابرات العراقية السابقة. وذكرت أن فريقا متخصصا من “الموساد” قام في أبريل/نيسان ،2003 بعد أيام من سقوط النظام العراقي السابق، بالتعاون مع ضباط من وكالة الاستخبارات المركزية الأمريكية “سي.آي.إيه” بالسيطرة على المكتبة اليهودية القديمة في بغداد، التي كانت تخضع لإشراف حكومي برعاية المخابرات العراقية. وتضم المكتبة تحفا نادرة لا تقدر بثمن من كتب التوراة “والتلمود” و”القبالة” و”الزوهار”، المكتوبة على لفائف البردي وجلد الغزال، ويعود تاريخها إلى أكثر من 2500 سنة، وبقيت في العراق منذ السبي البابلي لليهود، إذ قام كتبة يهود في ذلك الوقت بحفظ الكتب اليهودية في العراق، وإعادة كتابة التوراة و”التلمود”.وقالت المصادر إن القوات الأمريكية كانت قد اكتشفت الشخص المسؤول عن هذه المكتبة بعد احتلال العراق، وقامت باصطحابه إلى موقع المكتبة في قبو بدائرة المخابرات العراقية، حيث تم الغوص في الماء للوصول إليها بعد انفجار أنابيب المياه الثقيلة في القبو، وجرى انتشال الكتب من الماء، وكانت بحالة جيدة، ثم تم نقلها بوساطة طائرة في رحلة مباشرة من بغداد إلى تل أبيب .ا


Last Updated November 6, 2004
The [American] occupation allows Israelis to move a 25-Century-old Jewish library from IRAQ

Iraqi intelligence sources disclosed that the Israeli Mossad was able to take over the largest historic Jewish library in Iraq, which was kept in the office of the previous Iraqi intelligence office. They [the Iraqi sources] stated that in April 2003, few days after the fall of Baghdad, a specialized team from the [Israeli] Mossad in collaboration with the [American] C.I.A. took full control of the ancient Jewish library. This library includes invaluable and rare manuscripts and books such as the Talmud, Torah and [other ancient books] from the Babylonian time, during which some Jewish specialists rewrote the Torah and Talmud. The [Iraqi] sources indicated that the C.I.A. discovered the person in charge of the library and accompanied him to the library. Because the water pipes of the intelligence building broke, the water covered the entire library. They were able to scuba dive in the water and confiscate the books from the water, which were in good condition. Then they were taken by airplane from Baghdad to Tel Aviv!


2. IRAQ’s Manuscripts & Books Suffer Under OccupationTranslated to English by Wafaa’ Al-Natheema

http://www.asharqalawsat.com/details.asp?section=4&issue=9771&article=320310

خبير يتهم القوات الأميركية بالسطو على مخطوطات عراقية
أكد أن بين المنهوبات مصحفا بخط الإمام علي ولفائف لأسفار التوراة
29 اغسطس 2005 العدد 9771
القاهرة ـ رويترز: قال خبير في المخطوطات العراقية ان مسؤولين أميركيين نقلوا الى بلادهم مجموعة من المخطوطات العراقية منها لفائف جلدية لأسفار التوراة بعد سقوط بغداد في ابريل (نيسان) 2003، غير مبالين بتحذيرات العراقيين من سعي اسرائيل لحيازتها.ا
وقال أسامة ناصر النقشبندي، ان القوات الأميركية عثرت بعد احتلال بغداد على كمية من المخطوطات والكتب منها لفائف جلدية لأسفار التوراة موضوعة داخل اسطوانات خشبية في أحد مخازن جهاز المخابرات السابق «فاستولت عليها ووضعتها في شاحنة كبيرة مكيفة».ا
وأضاف النقشبندي الذي تولى منصب مدير عام المخطوطات العراقية منذ تأسيسها عام 1988 حتى عام 2002، أن خبراء من دار المخطوطات والمتحف العراقي قدموا تقريرا الى هيئة الآثار شدد على أنها «مواد تراثية يشملها قانون الآثار ويجب أن تسلم الى هيئة الآثار والتراث»، ولم يبال بهم أحد.ا
وقال في دراسة عنوانها (استهداف المخطوطات في العراق خلال الحرب 1991 ـ 2003) ونشرت الدراسة أمس في العدد الجديد من مجلة «تراثيات» نصف السنوية التي يصدرها مركز تحقيق التراث في دار الكتب والوثائق القومية بالقاهرة، ان ممثل وزارة الدفاع الاميركية (البنتاغون) الدكتور اسماعيل حجارة، وهو أميركي الجنسية «أرسل من أميركا للاشراف على هيئة الآثار والتراث كان وراء نقلها الى أميركا فحاولت اقناعه بعدم الموافقة لأن اسرائيل تسعى للاستحواذ على الاسفار اليهودية منذ السبعينيات وهي بأقلام مشاهير الخطاطين اليهود في بغداد فلم يكترت. ونقلت هذه المجموعة خلسة الى نيويورك».ا
وأضاف أنه بعد مرور شهر على نقل لفائف التوراة الجلدية الى أميركا «طلب مني الكولونيل مكدونس قائد مفرزة القوات الأميركية التي أرسلت لحماية المتحف العراقي بعد أن نهب، الكشف على المخطوطات الموجودة في الملجأ، فطلبت منه حضور بعض الفضائيات العربية والأجنبية لتصوير عملية فتح الملجأ والكشف عن صناديق المخطوطات المحفوظة فيه. واطلعوا على الكمية الهائلة من المخطوطات. تم تصوير بعضها للتأكد من أنها مخطوطات وليست صواريخ أو ما شابه ذلك لحماية الملجأ من التعرض للدمار».ا

وروى النقشبندي كيف استطاع الاهالي بحس فطري واع التصدي لمحاولات الاميركيين شحن المخطوطات بعد أن أوضح لهم أنها «تمثل تاريخهم وتراثهم الفكري والحضاري ومن بينها مصحف كريم نسبت كتابته للامام علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه فهاجت الجموع وبدأوا بالاحتجاج والهتاف ، وقال ان «الكولونيل أصر على نقل هذه المخطوطات التي تبلغ نحو 50 ألفا الى مقرهم، وعجز خبراء المخطوطات العراقيون عن منعه، وأحضر الاميركيون خمس شاحنات كبيرة وعددا من الدبابات والآليات العسكرية وعشرات الجنود الأميركيين، و تجمع أمام الملجأ مئات العراقيين، وأبدوا معارضتهم لتسليم المخطوطات الى الاميركان، فعرض الكولونيل مبلغ خمسة دولارات لكل شخص يشارك في نقل صندوق فرفض المواطنون».ا


An Expert Accuses the American Forces of Iraqi Manuscripts Burglary
Among The Stolen Manuscripts were an Ancient Torah and Imam Ali’s Hand Written Qur’an
August 29, 2005

Cairo – Reuters

An expert in Iraqi manuscripts said that the Americans robbed a bunch of manuscripts in April 2003, which included a Torah [written] in leather and did not care about Iraqi warnings that Israel has been working to get them.

Usama An-Naqshabandi said that the American Forces, following the occupation of Baghdad, found a variety of manuscripts and books that included a Torah made of leather and placed in a wooden cylindrical [container] in one of the storages of the past Iraqi intelligence building, and that “they took and placed them in a large air-conditioned tanker.”
An-Nakecbandi, who assumed the post of director general of Iraqi manuscripts since its founding in 1988 until the in 2002, added that experts from Manuscripts Center and Iraqi Museum submitted a report to the Antiquities Committee and stressed that they are «heritage materials covered by the law and must be delivered to the Antiquities and Heritage Committee», but no one paid attention to them.

He [An-Naqshabandi] wrote in a study entitled, “Striving for Iraqi Manuscripts During the War 1991-2003,” which was published yesterday in the new issue of the semi-annual Turathiyyaat Magazine, produced by the Center for Heritage Analyses of the National Book and Manuscript House in Egypt, that the representative of the American Defense Ministry (Pentagon) Dr. Ismael Hajjara (who is an American citizen) “was sent from the States to supervise the Committee of Archaeology and Heritage who was behind transferring them [the manuscripts] to the U.S.. I tried to convince him not to transfer them because Israel has been trying hard to get these ancient Jewish manuscripts, by famous Jewish calligraphers in Baghdad, since the 1970s, but he didn’t care. So they were taken secretly to NY.

An-Naqshabandi stated how Iraqis were aware and able to interfere with the American attempts to deliver the manuscripts [out of Iraq] after they realized these manuscripts and books represent their history and cultural heritage; amongst them was a Qur’an written by Imam Ali Bin Abi Talib [Cousin of the Prophet Muhammad]. So they began yelling in protest.

Then he said, “the colonel insisted on transferring 50,000 manuscripts to their [American] headquarter. Iraqi manuscripts specialists failed to stop him. Then the Americans brought five large tankers and few military tanks and equipments and tens of American soldiers, while hundreds of Iraqi civilians gathered in front of the shelter [where the manuscripts are kept] and protested against the transfer of the manuscripts. It was then when the colonel offered five dollars to each Iraqi who participate in moving a box, but they all refused.”


Note: The fifth paragraphs of this article were not translated to English.


Commentary by Wafaa’ Al-Natheema: If anyone knows how I can reach Dr. Ismael Hajjara of the Pentagon and Usama An-Naqshabandi in Baghdad, please email me at historyofiraq@gmail.com  I hope to interview them.


3. Announcements

1. Visit Our Iraq History New Blog at http://iraqshistory.blogspot.com/

2. Research Project: Arab Women Musicians in Pre-Islamic & Medieval Times
This is part of a one-year research on Arab women musicians by Wafaa’ Al-Natheema, which she hopes to publish by the end of 2006!

Ra’iqa was a famous pagan singer in pre-Islamic time. She taught well-known Azza Al-Mailaa among other musicians. Arabic music and musicians’ accomplishments preceded Islam by at least a millennium.

The Arabs and Persians possessed a theory of music long before they became influenced by the translations made from the Greek at the end of the 8th century and beginning of the 9th century under Islam. By the end of the 9th century, the effects of the writings of ancient Greeks on music, which has been translated into Arabic, began to be felt. The Science of Music now became one of the courses of ('uloom riyadhiyya) the quadrivium or mathematical sciences, and was studied by most scholars during this period.

There are many misconceptions this research (on Arab women musicians) will correct:
* That Arabic music (like all aspects of Arab history) began with Islam.
* That there were NO or very few Arab women musicians in pre-Islamic and/or medieval-Islamic times.
* That Arabic music did not have harmony, and that the latter is a western invention!

In addition, the research will highlight the accomplishments of many Arab women musicians. It will include anecdotes and biographies of post-Islam Arab women musicians such as Akeela, Atika, Atarred, Azza Al-Mailaa’, Bazbaz, Farida, Hababa, Hamdoona, Hind, Jameela, Khalida, Khoula, Qamar, Rabi’a, Selma Al-Qass, Salma Az-Zarqaa’ and others. In this male-dominated, war-driven world, documenting such unique information is a MUST.

If you are interested and would like to volunteer your time participating in this research beginning in 2006, please email us at INEAS_1994@yahoo.com


Included below are excerpts from a book mentioning an Arab (woman) musician and singer.

Music: The Priceless JewelFrom the book “Kitab al’iqd al-Farid” of Ibn Abd Rabbihi (d. 940)
Edited & Translated by Henry George Farmer, D. Litt. Ph.D.
Pages 24-27


He [i.e. the narrator] said, “And there stood by him a woman, and around him were the disciples. Then she said, ‘you are he who is called The Virtuous Man, and it was you who said: “When I find the fire of my love in my heart, I take myself to the common water-carrier for coolness. Granted I have been cooled by the external water, but who can avail against a fire in the vitals? Nay, by Allah, [she said], no virtuous man ever said.”

He [the narrator] said, “ ‘abd ar-Rahman [Ibn Abi Ammar], nicknamed Al-Qass, was with the people of Mecca, in the same rank as Ata Ibn Abi Rabbah in piety. And one day he passed by [the dwelling of] Sallama [t al-Qass], and she was singing. So he stood to listen to her singing. And her master [Suhail Ibn Abdal Rahman Ibn Auf] saw him, and said to him, ‘would you care to come in and listen? He refused. Then the master so insisted until he went in. And he [the master] said to him, ‘I will put you in a place where you will see her but she will not see you.’ Then she sang to him and delighted him. Then her master said to him, “would you like that I should bring her to you?” He refused that. But he [the master] insisted until he consented. So he continued listening to her fixing his gaze upon her, until he fell in love with her. And when she perceived his Gazing at her, she sang to him:

“Many a time two messengers have sent us
A missive before they departed.
They used neither shoe nor hoof,
Nor a tongue eloquent of love,
Until they departed with their answer,
Having ensured success by the propitious omen,
We both exchanged glances,
Which pled for a decision being explicit.”

He [the narrator] said, “Then he [the listener] fainted and almost perished. Then she [the singer] said to him, “One day, by Allah, I love thee! He said to her, ‘And by Allah I love thee.’ She said, ‘I wish that I could kiss you’. He said, “And by Allah, I also.’ She said, ‘And what prevents you from that?’ He said, ‘I fear that the friendship that is between you and me should become enmity on the day of resurrection. Have you not heard Allah Most High say, the intimate friend, on that day [shall be] enemies unto one another: except the pious? Then he rose up and returned to the manner of life in which he was engaged, and he improvised saying:

“I was blaming for folly her people,
And was astonished at what the day brought.
But today I excuse them, and know that path of peccability*
And rectitude are but parts [of a whole]”

And about her [he said]:

Verily [‘t was] Sallama who
Caused me to lose my hardihood
If you saw her lute (‘oud),
When it appears and she begins [to perform]
To the two Jarirs and Al-Gharidh
And to the master Ma’bad,
You would think that they were amidst her lute,
And the frets, and the hand [which played over them]


Note: The anecdote above does not include the important footnotes as they appear in the book.

* The capability of sinning.


****************


4. Introducing the Historians Behind This Newsletter

http://iraqshistory.blogspot.com/2005/12/iraqhistory-e-newsletter-contributors.html



5. The Purpose of the IRAQ History Monthly e-Newsletters & How to Join the Group List!

This group focuses on documenting and discussing various fields in IRAQ's history (politics, sciences, religions, law, the arts and other areas). The IRAQ History Group consists of a Writing/Editing Team made of historians and scholars and of Translating Team made of researchers and translators (translating from and to Arabic). The group's e-newsletters will be sent to the group list subscribers on monthly bases.The purpose of the group list goes beyond documenting to encourage discussions on regular (not daily) bases and the exchange of information and announcements. Those interested in learning about and/or in discussing IRAQ's history are welcome to subscribe, but subscribing to the list does not mean participation in the writing/editing of IRAQ's history.


These e-newsletters will eventually be posted on a special website/blog for Internet use. We hope to receive grants/contributions to be able to compensate historians/scholars of the writing/editing team should we invite them to participate in events related to IRAQ's history or for writing essential studies/essays for the purpose of publishing them in journal/book forms and not placed freely on the Internet.

We appreciate your recommendation of two non-Moslem Iraqi women historians to join the writing/editing team.

The IRAQ History Group List was initiated and launched by Wafaa' Al-Natheema, an independent writer, editor, translator and an art researcher and critic.

Writing/Editing Team (in First-Name Alphabetical Order):
Prof. Abdul Jabbar Naji
Anees Al-Qaisy
Ms. Aseel Nasir Dyck
Dr. Mahmood Al-Qaisy
Nahar Mohammed Nuri
Ms. Saba Hussein Al-Moula
Dr. Sinan Sadiq Az-Zaidy
Dr. Suhaila Shindi Al-Badri
Tariq Majeed

Translating/Research Team:
Ms. Hanan Mohammed Mahdi
Wafaa’ Al-Natheema, IRAQ History Group List Moderator

Group Email Addresses