Ray Hanania Radio: Iraqi artist showcases effort to restore Iraqi culture June 8
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This edition of Yalla! Fight Back Arab radio June 8, 2018 will focus on the life work of Northwestern University professor and artist Michael Rakowitz to preserve the Iraqi culture that was destroyed by terrorists of the Daesh (Islamic State in the Levant, ISIL, ISIS) which occupied a large segment of Iraqi beginning in June 2014. During its three year terror rampage, Daesh destroyed Arab cultural artifacts and the cultural artifacts of other national groups. Among the items destroyed were historical artifacts from Iraqi history dating back thousands of years including many iconic items from the Iraqi museum.
Rakowitz is an unusual and interesting person. His father is Jewish and his mother is Iraqi and he lives Iraqi culture daily in his personal and professional life. Over the years, Rakowitz has been recreating some of the most iconic of Iraqi cultural images including the Lamassu, an Sumerian, Assyrian, Chaldean and Iraqi protective deity, often depicted as having a human’s head, the body of a bull or a lion, and bird’s wings. In some writings, it is portrayed to represent a female deity.
Recently, using an artistic style composed of empty food cans that were used for Iraqi food — many distributed by the Palestinian American food company Ziyad Brothers Importing based in a Chicago suburb — Rakowitz recreated a life sized replica of the Lamassu that is today displayed in Trafalgar Square in London, an image praised by the Muslim Mayor of the city Sadiq Khan. The iconic artwork was unveiled on March 28, 2018 and will be on display through 2020 in London before moving to other locations
Rakowitz will discuss his artistic drive to preserve and help restore the images of these ancient Iraqi cultural images and his life as an Iraqi Jew who now lives in America enjoying and promoting Iraqi and Arab Wold culture.
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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