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The Iraqi Backstreet Boys

UNT1 L to R Art, Hassan, Shant, Nadeem and Akhald
Crossing Continents
Thursday, 25 December, 2008
At 1102 GMT on BBC Radio 4

In the late days of Saddam Hussein's Iraq, a group of middle class boys with musical talent and big ambitions came together.

The boy band they formed - called "Unknown to No-one" - was modelled on the Backstreet Boys.

When Saddam's regime fell, they hoped that their love songs would make them a hit in the West.

Caroline Hawley, the BBC's correspondent in Baghdad, got to know the group during the chaotic aftermath of the war in Iraq.

Now after years of separation and uncertainty they have re-formed in the Lebanese capital, Beirut.

Caroline meets them again to hear their stories about life in exile, about having to sing for Saddam, and to find out what has happened to their dreams of stardom.

BBC Radio 4's Crossing Continents was broadcast on Thursday, 25 December, 2008 at 1102 GMT. It will be repeated on Monday, 5 January, 2009 at 2030 GMT.

Reporter: Caroline Hawley
Producer: Anna Raphael

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SEE ALSO
Meet Iraqi boy band UTN1
23 Dec 08 |  Middle East
Iraq's boy band stars
25 Dec 08 |  Crossing Continents

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