Monday, January 08, 2007

Saddam's burial

Scenes from the burial of Saddam Hussein's corpse in his hometown of Al-Ouja, near Tikrit, as seen on Salah Al-Din TV.

It looks like a regular Iraqi burial to me, except that there is a larger number of people - presumably members of Saddam's tribe, Al-Bu Nasir - present than what was reported in the media. They pray a last prayer for him in which the cleric describes him as the "martyred hero." Then, the camera cuts to a scene where people are opening the casket to reveal Saddam's face and shouting frantically. When they are burying him, some people are yelling, "Farewell Akhu Hadla." (Akhu Hadla means "Hadla's brother," which is a tribal name carrying meanings of courage, chivalry and generosity.)

UPDATE: Another Saddam video has surfaced on the Internet today. This one, also shot by a cell phone camera, shows Saddam's corpse in a shroud and the wound on his neck.

UPDATE: I don't know who is translating for CNN but again, like the Times with the execution video last week, they got most of the conversation in the video wrong. Here is the transcript they posted in their story:

Man 1: "Quickly, quickly please, take one picture."

Man 2: "Yes, I hear you."

Man 1 (raising his voice when the video continues longer than a still shot would have required): "Come on, what's the matter?"

Man 2: "I hear you, I hear you."

Man 1 (to a third man): "Abu Ali, come on and deal with this."

Man 1 (apparently irritated over the length of time Man 2 is taking): "Come on, habibi ... I'll say this one time politely otherwise I'm going to get real angry."

Man 2: "I hear you."

Here is what was actually said in the video:

Man 1: "Quickly, quickly. I'm going to count from one to four. One ... Two ... Ha, Abu Ali. Come on, habibi. Just a moment. Mercy be on your family -"

Man 2: "I'm coming."

Man 1: " ... You're going to bring us a disaster ..."

Man 2: "I'm coming. I'm coming."

Man 1: "Just a moment. One moment. Abu Ali ... "

Man 2: "I'm coming."

Man 1: " ... Abu Ali, you take care of this. Abu Ali."

Abu Ali: "Come on. Come on."

Man 1: "Ya habibi, ya aini (my dear) ... "

Man 2: "That's it. I'm coming."

There's not that much of a difference in meaning, but there was no mention of taking one picture or a guy threatening to get angry. It just looked like they were afraid to get caught.

My whole point is that whoever is translating for CNN and the NY Times is not doing a great job.


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