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Culture & Art

Group threatens protests if ‘dancing channel’ reopens

By 2/7/2018
An office of the Kurdish broadcaster Hana TV in the Kurdistan Region's capital of Erbil. Photo: Hana TV
An office of the Kurdish broadcaster Hana TV in the Kurdistan Region's capital of Erbil. Photo: Hana TV

by Sckar Ahmed

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — The expected re-launch of a television channel in the Kurdistan Region is sparking outrage among some because there will be some shows that include local and foreign and dancing.

"Hana TV is an independent local channel and it is going to be launched in mid-July. It will be a 24 hour broadcast and it is focused on the cultural beauty of the world," Hiwa Friadras, the head of the TV, told Rudaw.

The channel previously received a KRG license, but it was suspended.

"In 2008, we obtained a license from the Ministry of Culture and we do not have any legal issues. The channel worked for a short period of time, but later it was closed," Friadras said.

The station has run advertisements on social media which include photos of half-clad women dancing, drawing mounting ire from some critics.

Friadras rebuked: "We broadcast dancing only three hours.”

His goal is to showcase both foreign and traditional Kurdish dancing forms to audiences in the Kurdistan Region.

"Dancing is part of the Kurdish culture. But now, the only community not paying attention to dancing is the Kurdish society. We aim to change this and to show the people that dancing is a beautiful art,” said Friadras.

The Culture and Faith Movement, a group of preachers and clerics, warned the Ministry of Culture and relevant parties to prevent the station from broadcasting.

"The establishment and opening of a dance channel named Hana is not good news for those very much worried about the morality of Kurds. Thus, with full force, we are objecting the opening of this channel," read their statement.

The head of the movement Mullah Zana Khatam told Rudaw if the station is opened they would push to publicly demonstrate against it.

"In addition to filing a lawsuit against the launching of the channel, we will bring people and take to the streets. Because it is meant to destroy the morality of and culture of Kurdish community as it is going to be against the Kurdish culture,” he said.

Friadras responded: "We cannot change the agenda of our channel just because some people don’t like it."

An official in the culture ministry told Rudaw that Hana TV does not have a legal issue.

"Hana TV was established in 2008. It worked for a period of time and later it stopped. The station has not paid three years of debts to the ministry amounting 7,500,000 Iraqi dinars [$6,300]."

Several companies in the Kurdistan Region already broadcast under the regulations of the culture ministry. Many programs already have dancing.

Editor’s note: This story was modified at 2:42 p.m. to better reflect the position of the Culture and Faith Movement.


Kurdo | 2/7/2018
Kerkuk Afrin lost Kurds suffee war everywhere in Kurdistan and they want dance and celebrate lol. Yeah let zs dance more that was what we needed I am sure this will make us stronger. How stupid there should be no celebration.
pre-Boomer Marine brat | 2/7/2018
In college in the late 1940s in then-rural farming town Greeley, Colorado, Sayyid Qutb screeched about men and women flouncing together at church dances. He went on to become the intellectual godfather of the Muslim Brotherhood. Decades later, a young man who'd been influenced by a radical ulema spawned by Qutb's writings, machine-gunned a Pakistani Governor of Punjab in the back. (He was the man's official bodyguard.) As he was led into a courthouse for arraignment, several hundred self-describsd lawyers (ie, Officers of the Court) threw rose petals at him.
Sounds of Culture | 2/7/2018
These medieval stone-age elements have no right to prevent freedom of expression through Kurdish national and local culture. They say it is against "morality" but do they really know what is moral and what it means? Honer killing, violence against women and destroying Kurdish culture in the name of Islam and morality have been, are and will be rejected by the moral majority of free sprited Kurdish people. While a democratice ballance has been exercised by the Kurdish people and allow these clergy elements to practice whatever they wish to practice; these half wit clergy elements should not stand against the fundamental element that make the Kurds, Kurdish and that the expression of the culture through through arts, music and dance at all their shapes and forms.
love Peshmerga, USA | 2/7/2018
Let those clerics who are against the dancing and Kurdish culture go to hell. they couldn't condemn the EVIL Isis but they are against the Kurdish culture. if they don't like it. let them pack up and go live with their Arab bothers who cut the head of innocent people and also rape and sell 9 year old girls. Shame on them and shame on the KRG if they let them stop this TV Chanel. We ALL should remember we are Kurds first then Muslim....
KRG | 2/7/2018
This is news of Rudaw. What about reporting about the failed unification of Peshmerga? Its 2018 and still we live in the time of party tribe militias. But no Let us dance who cares about the faliurs of this KRG a 100% relying rehion even again a group of 3 isis fighters they need coalition airstrikes so Peshmerga can colect the dead body and claim they defeded isis. If colation is gone like Erbil is also lost like Kirkuk. But no Rudaw needs to talk about dace channel to protect their KDP madters from criticism.

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