31 March 2007

Star Academy winner unites Iraqis

Shada Hassoun, a 25-year old Iraqi woman of Iraqi and Moroccan parentage has sparked raucous celebrations in Iraq by winning the Star Academy Middle East TV show, one of the myriad imitators of the British show Pop Idol. Sunni and Shi'ite Iraqis were united in celebrating Hassoun's victory in the final stage of the competition, where she defeated participants from Egypt, Lebanon and Tunisia (BBC).

If a pop-song competition on TV is enough to give Sunni and Shi'ite Iraqis a sense of unity, not much divides them. This response indicates to me that the majority of Iraqis are not keen on observing the sectarian differences that political groups and militias are reminding them of everyday. Let's hope the unity displayed by Hassoun's audience can be translated into other spheres of Iraqi life.

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