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The New Arab

Shake up: Belly dancer heads Iraqi journalists' union branch

Ishtar Anu Sumer is an Oregon based performance artist [Facebook]

Date of publication: 6 January, 2017

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Iraqis weren't dancing to Baghdad's tunes after the country's Journalists' Union appointed a belly dancer to head it's US branch.

Iraqi social media users were in uproar after news broke that the Iraqi Journalists’ Union had appointed a belly dancer to head its branch in the United States.

The union’s chief, Abdul Majid Ali, nominated Ishtar Anu Sumer, a performance dancer based in Salem, Oregon, to lead the union’s US branch. 

Iraq’s ministries of culture and foreign affairs approved the nomination earlier this week, as the position is an official government appointment with a reported salary close to $4,000 per month.

However, many Iraqis have criticised the move as highly inappropriate, arguing that a belly dancer should not represent Iraqi journalists who come from a conservative society.

Some criticised Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, who was a leading member of the Islamist Dawah Party until 2008, for approving the appointment.


Translation: Believe it or not, the dancer Ishtar Anu who appears in the video below has been appointed as the head of the Iraqi Journalists’ Union in America.

Translation: The latest craze? If you know how to dance you'll be appointed to head the Iraqi Journalists’ Union in America.

Translation: In Iraq, the person with a master's degree sells boiled chick peas in the streets while a dancer becomes the head the Iraqi Journalists’ Union in the USA!  

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