Iraqi Reality TV Show Could be Called ‘This Bombed House’

By: E&P Staff

Paging Bob Vila. A popular reality show on Iraqi TV , the brainchild of a well-known newspaper publisher, could be called ?This Bombed House.?

Producers of the show, which is actually called ?Materials and Labor,? provide money and expertise to Iraqi home-owners whose homes have been destroyed in the war. Some of the homeowners lost family members in the explosion.

It?s the ultimate ?Extreme Makeover,? and it does not toe any party line. Of the first six homes rebuilt, two were hit by an American air or armor strike, two by car bombs, two by munitions blown up by the U.S. side.

Each makeover costs about $30,000. ?But instead of taking out old kitchens,? a recent Wall Street Journal article related, ?its crews remove the rubble from war-related bombings?With cameras on hand to record the progress, workers are currently building a two-bedroom home for a woman whose house was largely destroyed by an American tank blast in April 2003.?

“Materials and Labor” and Al Sharqiya’s other reality shows were created by Saad al-Bazzaz, 54, the network’s owner and the publisher of the Azzaman newspaper. Other shows on his network include an Iraqi version of ?The Newlywed Game? and a show about Iraqis who have AIDS.

Bazzaz was a top Information Ministry official under Saddam Hussein but moved to London in the mid 1990’s after writing a book critical of Saddam. During his exile, he founded a newspaper for Iraqis published in London.

Besides a daily newspaper in Baghdad, he also publishes a weekly sports paper and a monthly magazine about current events and culture.

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