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Arnold's Classic Gym, Baghdad Style

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by Real World, Mar 20, 2007.

  1. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 15, 2006
    Likes Received:
    +1,050 / 7 / -3

    This is funny.


    Amid the death and destruction in the Iraqi capital, Arnold Schwarzenegger somehow endures and thrives here. Or at least does a Schwarzenegger-worshipper's Baghdad gym and a big painting on the side of the building showing "The Arnold" in two bodybuilding exhibition poses. The Arnold Classic Gym in downtown Baghdad has been written about many times over the years. It's heartening that the gym and its painting survive despite the war here.


    USA Today:


    By Zaid Sabah, USA TODAY
    BAGHDAD — When Mohammed Jassem, 21, decided to start bodybuilding a year ago, he chose the Arnold Classic Gym.
    "Arnold is my hero," he says. The gym, of course, is named after California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    Gyms, like other businesses, were tightly regulated under Saddam Hussein's regime, but the weightlifting union lost control after the U.S.-led invasion. Now entrepreneurs don't need permission before opening a gym. Dozens of gyms have opened around Baghdad over the past couple of years, capitalizing on the new freedoms and demand.


    Talib said that when he first started bodybuilding, he began writing to Schwarzenegger. After Schwarzenegger was elected governor, Talib sent him a congratulatory letter. Schwarzenegger answered Talib in a letter a year ago: "You're periodic reports from the Arnold Classic Gym have delighted me, and I continue to have only the highest hopes for you, the gym and your troubled homeland." Last month, Talib received equipment, including weights and bars, from Schwarzenegger. Darrel Ng, a spokesman for the governor's office, confirms that Schwarzenegger donated equipment to the gym.


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