Iraqi Comedian Ahmed Albasheer: The U.S. Invasion Created a Thousand Saddams
The comedian and political satirist Ahmed Albasheer is the most popular media figure in Iraq—half of the country regularly tunes into his show. An outspoken critic of government corruption, Albasheer has also lamented the failure of the 2003 U.S. invasion and the toppling of Saddam Hussein to bring democracy to the country.
“In Iraq, we have this saying that before Saddam we had one Saddam and now we have a thousand Saddams,” Albasheer told Reason during an interview conducted in Miami at the 2021 Oslo Freedom Forum, a conference that gathers media figures, activists, and dissidents to talk about government oppression and human rights violations all over the world. The Albasheer Show, which started in 2014 and airs weekly on DW’s Arabic channel, disappeared from Iraq’s TV channels after the country’s Communications and Media Commission banned it on the grounds that it wasn’t “culturally appropriate.” Iraqis are still able to watch the show online.
Albasheer was also a supporter of the protest movement that started in 2019, which has called for an end
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