PHOTOS: Baghdad hosts western-style music festival
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Iraqi capital, Baghdad, held the 3rd annual Western Music Festival on Friday, with performances from several music genres. Hundreds of young Iraqis attended the event.
Contrary to the conservative culture in Baghdad, young girls and boys are seen dancing on a neon-lit floor to all forms of western music, including jazz, rock, pop, and hip-hop. One performer is seen wearing a cut-off leather jacket.
The city, which still bears the scars of decades-long wars and sectarian strife, is gradually embracing cultural events, several of which have been criticized by religious segments of the society.
A day earlier, another concert was held with the famous Iraqi singer, Ilham al-Madfai, in the southern oil-rich Basra province.
These musical events are not supported by all. In fact, senior politicians and religious preachers started a condemnation campaign in 2021 after a popular Egyptian singer, Mohamed Ramadan, took off his T-shirt during a performance, attended by many Iraqi families.
Furthermore, Iraq’s Babylon arts festival, relaunched in Iraq almost after 20 years, faced strong backlash from the religious community. They demanded the event be canceled as it was “contrary to Iraqi culture codes and values.”