Meet the Iraqi poets: Kareem al Iraqi

Culture Apr 09, 2021 3 min read

Submitted by: Merna Yalda (@merna.yalda).

Contact us if you have an Iraqi poet that inspires you. Read the introduction to the 'Meet the Iraqi poets' here.

The poet Kareem Al-Iraqi was born on February 18, 1955 in Karrada, Baghdad. Al Iraqi was graduated from the Baghdad Teachers Institute in psychology and children's music. Kareem Al-Iraqi worked as a teacher in Baghdad schools for several years and then worked as a supervisor specialized in writing.

As an Assyrian poet myself, I am very inspired by Kareem and his poetry journey. I hope my poetry may be as outstanding as Mr. Kareem Al Iraqi's.  - Merna Yalda
هل المواساة يوماً حررت وطنا (Did consolation ever liberate a homeland?)

Kadhem al Sahir and his trip to Cairo

Kareem Al-Iraqi was famous for poems that encouraged Iraqi soldiers to fight in the Iran-Iraq war. The relationship between Al-Iraqi and the artist Kadhim Al-Sahir also started in the army. Their first songs were the series شجاهه الناس (People's Courage) and from the tunes of lightness,  معلم على الصدمات قلبي(A teacher on the pain of my heart) and افرح ولا تحرموني منه  (Rejoice and don't deprive me of it).

The real start of al Iraqi was upon visiting Cairo, Egypt with Kadhim Al Sahir and by dealing with Arab artists like Diana Haddad, Fadl Shaker, Omar Al-Abdelat, Samira Saeed, Mohamed Mounir, Hani Shaker, Asala Nasri, Saber Al-Rabai, and others as well as the singers Iraqi expatriates among them Reda Khayat, Majid Almohandis, Adel Mokhtar, Reda Al-Abdullah and others.

Salah Abdul Ghafour 

Al Iraqi’s supplication to a wounded Iraq

In 2005, Kareem sung a song called “Daloul” for Rotana, which is his most prominent poem performed by the creative poet Kareem Al-Iraqi. The song explains his love for Iraq, accompanied with a Oud solo. In the lyrics of the song he dedicates the supplication in the poem of Daloul to a wounded Iraq – including the complete spectrum of the Iraqi people and to the Iraqi mothers. Al-Iraqi was awarded for the Best Humanitarian Song for his poem تذكر ′′Remember ′′ which was composed and sung by artist Kazem Al-Sahir. His poetry was sung by many Iraqi and Arab singers. He is currently a journalist editor in Madam magazine with many interviews in Arabic channels and many Arab newspapers.

دلول - كاظم الساهر

His time in Exile

Kareem left Iraq for Tunisia and his departure was in conjunction with the departure of many Iraqis from the literary and artistic community. The appearance of Kareem Al-Iraqi on Iraqi TV used to be as normal as the evening newscast. Later he moved to Tunisia under a call to work in Sousse city.  After several years of switching between Tunisia and several Arab countries he finally settled in the United Arab Emirates. Here he worked as an art editor for the Iraqi Arts Magazine, and also worked as a journalist in several Arabic magazines in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as a member of the Association of Authors and World Music Publishers.

Karim al Iraqi 


Al-Iraqi started writing and publishing since he was a primary school student in Iraqi magazines, including the Spectator magazine, Monitor Radio and TV, Son of Country, Worker Awareness and Youth Magazine. Kareem's interests are diverse, including folk poetry, song, operetta, play and writing, as well as his interest in culture and literature since he was an elementary student.

In 1974, when he was a middle school student, he wrote two songs for children (Shamsa) and (O aunty Yalaita) and later he wrote many famous songs:

Congratulations days, sung by Salah Abdul Ghafour,

Dar Al-Zaman and Dara, by Seta Hagopian,

Jannah, by the artist Reda Al-Khayat and the melody of Abad Abdul Karim,

My uncle by Fouad Salem

Wi Hala by Anwar Abdul Al-Wahab

I knew my soul by Riyadh Ahmad

Ya Oumi (O mother) by Saadoun Jaber

Hala Bey, a sports song

Songs sungy by Saadoun Jaber from the artist Balig Hamdi in 1981,

He also wrote three songs, sung by Hussein Nama:

Salam Aleyh, (shged sar a3orfak),

Yemen, my love, Salah Abdul Ghafour,  

“Shams Shamsi” “Iraq Iraqi”.

Some of Kareem’s most famous publications are:

Diwan "rain and the mother of braiding" from Iraqi folk poetry released in 1974 in Baghdad.

"Once Upon A Time" Folk Tales.

"Salem Iraq" poems for children.

"The Golden Dagger" a children's novel.

"Immigrant Street" is a children's novel.

"Laziness and its grey mule" is a novel for children.

Preparing and presenting the TV show "In the Host of the Song".

And many more and its poetic production continues to this day.

Today, Kareem resides in Abu Dhabi for his treatment for cancer. As an Assyrian poet myself, I am very inspired by Kareem and his poetry journey. I hope my poetry may be as outstanding as Mr.Kareem Al Iraqis.

Contact us if you have an Iraqi poet that inspires you. Read the introduction to the 'Meet the Iraqi poets' here.

Great! You've successfully subscribed.
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.