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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

CIRCUS IN IRAQ...

Iranian circus delights Iraqis in ancient Babylon
By Jacques Clement (AFP)
The Jahan perfomers put on a show at the ancient city of Babylon, Iraq
HILLA, Iraq — The hapless lion and snake both died in an Iraqi heatwave, but for the jugglers, clowns, fire-eater and other circus performers, the show in ancient Babylon had to go on.
Tonight, under the glare of spotlights and despite the sweltering heat, entertainment-starved spectators in the war-ravaged country are glued to their seats as a daredevil roars inside the Globe of Death on a motorbike.
The Jahan (World) company from neighbouring Iran is giving many Iraqis their first-ever circus experience.
Iraqis watch as the Iranian Jahan (world) circus company performs before the Ishtar Gate in ancient Babylon
Children gasp when the circus fakir, whose firm belly has already repelled tossed knives and other sharp objects, stoically withstands a menacing nail pushed into his nose.
Each evening since early July, the open-air amphitheatre has come alive with circus performers strutting their stuff before the Ishtar Gate, one of the eight entrances to ancient Babylon, founded by Amorites in 19th century BC.
Except in the oil-rich, autonomous region of Kurdistan in the north, Iraqis have not seen a circus in their country since the 1970s, when Bulgarian, Romanian and Russian troupes would regale crowds in Baghdad each autumn.
That was Iraq's last decade of peace, before Saddam Hussein formally came to power in 1979 and pushed the country from one disaster to another.

read more at:http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jKnA-LwIXtU-NdCPLRh_s9EkgjFw


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