The Two Comedians (Ahmed Waheed and Ali Fadhil), who represent two of the most important social media public figures, took up the stage of Iraq’s point conference on the second day 11th August to talk about the importance of (Guided comedy against the discriminating policies). Media-man Bader Al-Saltti from Basra, who works as a presenter of a program in the Mirbad radio station, and has many live stand up comedy shows, telling jokes and speaking about other topics in a sarcastic and funny way, ran the session.
the session started with an introduction from (Ahmed Waheed);He has hundreds of stand up comedy shows and has the most famous comedian program that airs on the YouTube channel of Mirbad radio station, which mocks the political and the administrative situation in the country.
Waheed pointed out that “his political comedy’s practice avoids discrimination or taking sides, and he will never fear the crowd’s reaction and the criticism that he might receive” adding that “the crowds’ reactions may generate fear more than the politician’s or the senior official’s or the meant institute’s reaction” clarifying that “there are electronic armies related to the parties who are affected by my work that targets a certain idea or attitude, and raise many negative comments” While the artist Ali Fadhil (the owner of the famous comedy Show Wilayat Bateekh) talked about the role of social media in fighting discrimination and their contribution in the process of peace making, resembling the modern Iraqi comedy by (a mathematical equation) which has causes and results. He continues expressing the struggle he sometimes has to face in his program that he sporadically feels the necessity to delay the production for rethinking and reconsidering to reach a peaceful result and carry a meaningful message to the audience.
Ahmed Waheed’s comment on the relationship between comedy and social media was “broadcasting comedy on social media differs a lot from regular media that was previously available” adding that “before, the fame was earned only by television, whereas now it’s available and can be earned through social media where the content can be conveyed easily to a target audience”.
in the meantime Ali Fadhil joined the conversation pointing that “the views of the programs that air on TV cannot be calculated in a realistic way” mentioning that “we depend on the positive and negative reviews as the content’s quality measure” adding that “there is a problem of lack of trust by the public concerning part of the content, and this probably happened quite a lot, yet the impartial content does not face any problems” clarifying that “there’s a difference between being a famous person and a star, the latter is distinguished by the positive role”.
After that the crowd asked the speakers a lot of questions, and the artist Ahmed Waheed emphasized on the importance of choosing topics that do not breach the law, while the artist Ali Fadhil show cased a question by saying “Comedy industry here in Iraq is witnessing a continuous evolution, and for this industry to further evolve we need comedy makers’ writers by running courses and workshops to make a new generation that would further evolve this modern art”.
on how to choose the works that air, Ahmed Waheed said that “the topics are diverse between being social and political” surprised that “regardless of the amount of facts that the comedy presents to the audience or the Iraqi population about the Iraqi parties’ corruption, they tend to vote to the same faces every time!, as a result we lost hope of discussing political topics and turned to social ones”
While Fadhil thinks that “the Iraqis, who live inside Iraq, show less acceptance to the comedy topics compared to the Iraqis that live outside of Iraq and that’s due to the difficult conditions the ones here are facing”
in the final part of the session, the artist Ahmed Waheed noted that “terrorism is a product of lack of services and employment opportunities and the decline in living standards, and the comedy is incapable of removing any political figure but probably can help a bit” the comedian celebrities took up the point conference’s stage and showed the crowd the importance of their works and how they affect the community.