Multi-lingual Mesopotamian storytelling, 29th July 2009


On Wednesday 29 July 2009 the Rivercourt Methodist Church in Hammersmith, London, was filled for a multi-lingual cultural evening organised by the Iraqi Association and featuring ZIPANG Mesopotamian storytellers.

Fran Hazelton and Muhamad Tawfiq Ali introduced the audience to ZIPANG Days Out in English and Arabic. Fran told in English the Sumerian story Lugalbanda Lost in the Mountains. She ended with the cry of the Anzud Bird ‘that cracked the ground in the Lullubu Mountains’. People can find out what happens next in the story at the ZIPANG Day Out on Saturday 5th September.

Badia Obaid told in Arabic the Akkadian story The Descent of the Goddess Ishtar to the Underworld.

Tara Jaff accompanied the stories with harp music and sang a Sumerian song for the goddess Inanna over a chant she taught the audience. Roskar Nasan played a classical oud solo. Tara concluded the evening with a traditional Kurdish folk melody arranged for the harp.

The audience included representatives from the Iraqi Association in Canada and the event was filmed by two Iraqi TV channels. It was sponsored by the Unity Theatre Trust.

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Video 1: Fran Hazelton and Muhamad Tawfiq Ali, with Tara Jaff (harp)

Video 2: Badia Obaid with Tara Jaff (harp) and Roskar Nasan (oud)