Á Baghdad Burning: Girl Blog from Iraq Ù Download by Û Riverbend A must read.
With the Internet, we are now able to read accounts of war by noncombatants who are not journalists while the war is happening, even as armies invade and bombs fall Someone has called Iraq the first postmodern war in that we get simultaneous reports of what is happening from many different points of view besides the official ones This remarkable blog by a young woman in Baghdad is a day by day record of the experience of the war in her city and told from the perspective of someone not unlike her Western readers so convincingly that some readers consider her blog a hoax She writes fluent English and is familiar with American culture she is educated, urbane, politically informed, and computer savvy having worked at a soft In August A Young Iraqi Blogger Began Reporting Her Experiences As A Civilian Observer In Baghdad Calling Herself Riverbend, She Has Offered Searing Eyewitness Accounts Of Daily Life In The War Zone And Has Garnered A Worldwide Audience Hungry For Unfiltered News And Fresh Analysis Riverbend S Blog, Baghdad Burning, Collected Here For The First Time, Responds To Events Both Personal And Political From The Impact On Her Family Of The Invasion S Aftermath To The Abu Ghraib Prison Abuses She Reveals For Us Most Sharply The Fate Of Iraqi Women, Whose Rights And Freedoms Are Falling Victim To Rising Fundamentalisms Describing The Reality Of Regime Change In Iraq In A Voice At Turns Outraged, Witty, And Deeply Moving, Riverbend Is A Witness To The Recent Events That Are Shaping The Future Of Her Homeland Rating subjective experience seems like a stupid thing when that subjective experience deals with surviving in a war zone the five stars here are not a rating of the book, but a mark of my being glad that, so long as warfare continues anywhere, documents like this book exist If anyone expects it to be an unbiased, journalistic account, then those expectations will be crushed originally written as a blog about life after the liberation of Iraq by US forces in April of 2003, it was also the only such document written by an Iraqi woman It is full of personal opinions, sarcasm, observations and anger, unfortunately all too justified In a strange way, it is the flip side of David Finkel s The Good Soldiers or maybe that book is the flip side of this one In any case, they are both essential reading about the war in Iraq, or should be.
This book is a compilation of a year of blog entries by a upper middle class young woman in Iraq Although the woman is well educated and a near native speaker of English, the final product is less an eye opener on the US occupation of Iraq and a reflection of her ignorance or bias against various groups, her fellow citizens included She tends to depict situations and issues in stark terms, rather than with the purportedly objective eye of a journalist There is no mention of the Kurds, even though they are a sizable portion of the population sitting on the hotspot of Kirkuk, while returning exiles are viewed with complete disdain not just politicians, but anyone who had managed to escape Saddam s rule for than five years I would read a comprehen Day by day commentary on what s happening in the country, neighborhood, and family of a 20 something young woman beginning in August 2003 Certainly a quite different perspective than from US news reports I found her observations interesting and the story compelling I read this as a book selection of the Middle East North Africa group.
I read this like I do most blogs to which I subscribe skimming some, focusing on others Her talk of daily chores and the difficulties of such things as filling the water tanks, doing laundry, celebrating holidays seem interesting than the political, which seem dated, although interesting from an historical view.
Now moving on to The Trench, the second book in the Cities of Salt series by Abdelrahman Munif after I finish a few other books.
Two things First, I think my favorite part of this book was learning about the culture and customs held by some of the Iraqi people I particularly liked the description, importance and uses of palm trees Although I can t remember if this was in this book or the second one Second, because it s written in a diary blog form, this felt to me like a story or history rather than something that was currently happening Also, given that it s impossible to know with any certainty whether or not Riverbend is actually a woman in Iraq right now, it s hard not to keep reminding yourself of that or questioning that the whole time your reading it So I found myself in the weird space of reminding myself that this is real and current and yet maybe not real
on the ground day to day reporting of usa invasion of iraq in 2003 by a young woman with not many axes to grind, but with prescience and wit and outrage, for sure it was is much worse than we are lead to believe by western press and usa propa I have a hard time talking about American involvement in the Middle East I m not sure whether it s too soon or simply too enraging for me to discuss in any rational, diplomatic manner, but whatever the reason, I avoid the subject in my daily conversation to prevent embroiled emotional battles with friends and foe alike Suffice it to say that I despise everything about the Bush era tactics and, somewhat less, the Obama approach in the Middle East and this book was a haunting reminder of the atrocities we ve committed and continue to commit as a country.
Contrary to the puppy dog and rainbow propaganda that we re being fed by a corporate owned news media, our presence in Iraq and other occupied countries, I m sure is far from the liberating
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W Bush appear to have been taken directly from a book entitled How to Really Screw Things Up in Iraq the complete lack of understanding of the nuances of Iraqi culture, politics and mindsets is really appalling And sadly, this book was written about events that took place 8 9 years ago and I m not sure things are much improved or d