Kathem Al Saher & Iraq Chat
Interview with Kathem by Iraq Chat at the Airport in San Diego
Thanksgiving Day this year was a special one for Iraq Chat, since we had an exclusive interview with Kathem Al Saher that went for about Two hours, Kathem almost missed his Airplane to Los Angeles because of the Interview.
I would Like to thank Kathem for taking the time to talk to us and sharing with us many details about his up coming 2000 Album..! and future plans.
I also would like to thank Fadi Kamel from San Diego Entertainment and Production (www.iraqchat.com/sdep) for making this meeting possible. I also would like to take this opportunity to welcome Fadi and his company as one of Iraq Chat's newest sites that are designed and hosted by us. We wish you the best of luck.
The meeting with kathem al Saher came on the next morning after his San Diego Concert which needless to say it was a great success with as many as 1050 people attended the concert.
How did you like your concert in San Diego? "I am very pleased with the fans in San Diego, I am also very impressed that many of the younger fans had memorized my poems and songs and they were repeating after me all of my poems, I just didn't expect that from the younger fans, he said".
When is your next Album going to be available? I hope in 3 to 4 Months, he said.
What kind of songs you are going to have on your new Album? Is it going to have, Poems or regular songs? This Album will have many songs about the Children, I am also thinking about singing in English, and as we are talking I am looking for some good poems in English to sing..!, he said.
I asked Kathem, can you give your Iraqi fans a couple of words of encouragement as we are approaching the year 2000 and many of us are living outside our beloved Iraq..? " Hai yeradelha Saffna, he said", I said and your 3ood, correct? (He answered, Exactly with a big smile :)
I had heard that, you had reserved to fly back to Cairo after hearing the unfortunate news about your father's death, and I also had heard that you were going to be on the same Egypt Air Airplane that crashed over New York, is that correct? YES, He Said..!, but thank god for my friends who convinced me to stay in America and finish up my 1999 tour. I owe all of that to my friends and fans.
How is your relationship with Kaream Al Iraqi, are you still in contact with him? "Kaream is simply wonderful. Kaream and I are always in touch, whenever he has something new he calls me immediately to inform me about it.
Can you tell us something about Kaream not every one knows? Yes, Kaream is a great poet as you all know, he takes his work very serious and when he writes his poems, you can't help noticing how hard he sweats, and concentrates, however the great thing about him, is when he hears me singing his poems he breaks in tears.
How do you describe your last visit to Iraq? It hurts me very much whenever I visit Iraq..! For Example, Last time I visited Iraq, a nice man approached to greet me and said "Hi Kathem how are you, and how have you been?" I returned his greetings, but that man could tell from the way I returned his greetings that I didn't recognize him, he smiled and said "Kathem don't you remember me? I am such and such your friend from school..?" I paused for a few seconds, then I remembered him, but I couldn't believe how the hard times had aged him within few years, his hair was completely gray, the wrinkles on his face had made him look like some one in my fathers age, that was very hard for me to see and accept. (Things like that hurt me a lot, what our people are going through is very hard and difficult. (God helps them)
Do you help your Family and Friends back home? Yes, indeed I help all of my family and friends, and I think its our responsibility as Iraqis that live outside Iraq, to help our family and friends back home. We are the only hope they have during these hard times.
Where do you plan to film your next video clip? Venice, its the most beautiful part of Italy.
How often do you exercise? I try to run 5 Kilometer every day.
Share with us something about your last video clip? Well in the last video clips (Kolly Ahoboky), just before video taping the clip I realized that the dresses they had picked for the dancer in that clip they were extremely long and the would ultimately hide the foot work of the dancer during the Shaykhany (a dance - which is originally danced by Iraqi-Assyrians, who live in the northern part of Iraq). I decided to take the dancers shopping and I bought all of them new dresses, a little shorter so people could see all the foot work of the dancer.
Did it take the dancers a long time to learn the Shaykhany Dance? No, not at all these girls are professional dancers, it took them less than 15 minutes to prefect all the moves.
The Shaykhany Dance you did on the Video Clip is a little different than the typical Assyrian Shaykhany, We call it Shaykhany with a Kathem twist..! That is true because I viewed a few videos of people dancing Shaykhany, and I decided to give it a little extra move.
Share with us something you consider funny that happened to you during the filming of your last video clip (Koly Ahoboky)? The funniest thing that happened was, that one of the little girls in the video clip, told her mother, she thinks that Kathem Al Saher is falling in love with her..! :)
During the Interview we offered to buy Kathem some thing to drink, he refused and said "No, you are my guest today, and I will buy everyone a drink". What do you mean we are your guest? You are our guest in San Diego, I replied. He said, no when you come to the Airport to see me then you become my guest, this is my Airport. I laughed, and insisted to get him a drink, well finally he gave in and said I have to have my milk and my Espresso Coffee in the morning, and since I already have had my Milk, then its time for my Espresso.
As we were talking about the traditional Iraqi breakfast and how much we miss it, the subject of an Iraqi favorite Breakfast Item came up, (The Gaymar), He started laughing and said why do you remind of things like that? I tray very hard to stay away from Gayamr, Cheese or any dairy product due to my high cholesterol level.
Why is your cholesterol level so high? First, Doctors have told me that the high stress level I am under during performing my songs, attributes to it greatly. Second, I love cheese, especially French cheeses, when I am in my house in France I live on French Cheeses. However, now I am doing much better and watching the kind of food I eat, I try to stay away from dairy products and read meats, and I exercise daily.
When do you think you will be visiting us again in San Diego or U.S.A.? I hop within the next 2 years.
Are you going to change anything in your next tour? Yes, Next time I will only make 5 or 6 concerts all over the US, and they will be held in Symphony Halls, instead of Large Hotels.