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Dream of Samarra
January 16, 2008 5:42 PM   Subscribe

Transmissions from a vanished world. There is more that you can learn about Usama Alshaibi and the spiral minaret of Samarra, but it is best if you watch the video and live with the mystery for a while first.
posted by nangsta (11 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
This isn't about a Powerglide from a '54 Chevy, is it?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:54 PM on January 16, 2008


That minaret is an iconic image of Islam to me; I don't know if I am more disappointed that it was damaged by insurgents or that it was being used as a lookout post by American troops.
posted by TedW at 6:07 PM on January 16, 2008


Am I the only one who thought that the video was zooming into a multi-colored version of the O RLY Owl? It's possible that my brain is failing due to too much exposure to internet radiation.
posted by burnmp3s at 6:46 PM on January 16, 2008


That's funny, burnmp3s, but i think it is more like one of those "separated at birth" sorts of things...
posted by nangsta at 7:07 PM on January 16, 2008


I thought it looked like an out-of-focus videotape of a TV showing some sort of a big dessert, until I saw people on it. I will now read the links.
posted by not_on_display at 7:28 PM on January 16, 2008


I am only the millionth person to make this comment: but it is tragic that we are destroying what we we were always told as children was the Cradle of Civilization.
posted by kozad at 8:53 PM on January 16, 2008


Not_on_display, did you mean dessert or desert? I guess it depends on whether you were feeling hungry or thirsty when you watched the video.
posted by nangsta at 9:58 PM on January 16, 2008


Burnmp3s, that's exactly what I thought too!
posted by MaryDellamorte at 11:01 PM on January 16, 2008


On the one hand, that video didn't do much for me. On the other hand, it's less than a minute long, so I'm not complaining.

In case anyone's curious, I did some investigating a few years ago and determined that in Iraqi Arabic the stress is on the last syllable of Samarra (it's /sa:mar:a:?/ in Arabic, and the stress falls on the last long vowel). Not that anyone should pronounce it that way in English, but for those of you who believe in saying things the local way, now you know.
posted by languagehat at 6:23 AM on January 17, 2008


Could we have an Not-Safe-For-Epileptics tag on that video? Oi. I'd love to know what's beyond the 10 second mark, but I will never know as it is seriously messing me up.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:23 AM on January 17, 2008


Usama also did a pretty awesome documentary about a recent trip back to Iraq. Nice Bombs is the name of it. (Just in case folks are reading the comments and not actually looking at the article)
posted by drstein at 6:34 AM on January 17, 2008


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