Baghdadi Bath

Baghdadi Bath depicts two Iraqi brothers as they struggle to survive in Iraq, both before and during the 2003 US-led invasion and ensuing occupation. The brothers wash and quarrel in the Turkish-style bathhouse that serves as the setting for much of the play. The two are, as it were, mired in filth, corrupted by their engagement as bus drivers with both Saddam’s thugs and American soldiers. They narrate atrocities in turn. The younger, Hamiid, is complicit in transporting political prisoners to their deaths by firing squad under Saddam’s regime and then relaying their corpses to a mass gravesite. Hamiid is confined in a military hospital for a month and refused payment for his services. In the final episode of the play, Majiid suffers at the hands of American soldiers after the two attempt to transport a political candidate from Amman, Jordan to Baghdad. Just after they cross the border back into Iraq, an exploding cigar kills the candidate. Trapped in a battle zone, Majiid buries the remains, but is then forced to unearth them at the command of American soldiers, [who later push him into the grave and cover him with dust. The play ends with Hamiid carrying Majiid to the shower and bathing him.]