[QODLink]
Witness
The Singing Barber of Mosul
Barber and wannabe pop idol Mohamed Yunis heads to Beirut to fulfill his dream.
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2009 10:06 GMT



Watch part two

Director: Katia Saleh


It is not safe to be shaving beards and singing pop songs in the northern Iraqi town of Mosul. Mohamed Yunis is 26 years old. His day job is a barber - but he loves to sing. 

Living with his mother and feeling stifled by restrictions, Mohamed decides to go to Beirut to perform in a singing competition. He will compete in the Arabic pop idol competition - he hopes winning this competition will propel him into a glittering career in singing.

Mohamed's mother is not convinced. In the past she has tried to persuade him to sing religious chants rather than pop songs. So if he doesn't come back from Beirut having won, the shame will be doubly bad.

The pressure is on, and the competition is tough. Will Mohamed make it? Will he succeed for himself? Will he be an Iraqi success story?

Away from the pressures of family and a city under siege, Mohamed sits in Beirut’s bustling streets one night and contemplates when this city's type of freedom will come to Iraq.

Your Comments:

The Singing Barber of Mosul was a great story as it helped me to see that Iraq isn't all just war and violence, that there are real people just like us who have dreams and aspirations yet can't fulfill them due to their circumstances. With all the negative coverage of Iraq, the story was great because it gave a human and more positive side to the struggle! Keep up the great stories!
Alisha Lagasi, Canada

 

In The Singing Barber of Mosul I was disappointed to see one of the judges was judging Mohamed's attire instead of his singing talent. This judge should be out and Mohamed should be in.
Disappointed Mom, Yemen

I found your programme on the Singing Barber of Mosul, very enlightening and emotional. The guy was so sweet, funny and painfully honest, and I truly hope that he finds a way to realise his dreams and keep out of harm's way in the hell of present day Iraq.
Vicky, UAE

 

Topics in this article
People
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.