Worldly Wednesday: “Dabka,” Assyrian/Iraqi Folk Dance

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This is an old “line stomp” dance from northern Iraq – part of the ancient Assyrian empire.

The Assyrian Empire

The Assyrian Empire

The Assyrian empire stretched across Israel, parts of Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia.  The empire took its name from its original capital, the ancient city of Aššur, in what is now the Salah Al Din province of northern Iraq.  It existed as an independent entity for nineteen centuries – from roughly 2500 BC to 605 BC.  For the next thirteen centuries, until the about 650 AD, it was ruled predominantly by foreign powers, thus giving rise to a number of neo-Assyrian states within the borders of the empire.  The empire fell to the Arab Islamic invasion in the mid-7th century AD.

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It can be hard for westerns – especially Americans – to remember that Iraq existed before 1991, or 2003, or 2014.  It has existed for thousands of years and been part of one of the richest civilizations the world has ever know.  Now more than ever is it important to remember this, as ISIS pushes through parts of Iraq that used to be Assyrian.

Source: Washington Post

Source: Washington Post

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