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Baghdad Burning: Girl Blog from Iraq

av Riverbend

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253582,920 (4.03)12
"In August 2003 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."--BOOK JACKET.… (mer)
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Visar 5 av 5
Read for class, but will likely get second volume out of curiosity. While not always superbly eloquent, Riverbend is certainly engaging, and forces us to revisit our perception of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Recommended for current event buffs and those who, like me, need a first-person account to make history make sense. ( )
  kgriffith | Apr 30, 2009 |
Baghdad Burning is a collection of the first year of the blog Baghdad Burning, written by a young Iraqi woman in Baghdad. This collection spans the early days of the American occupation of Iraq, August 2003 to September 2004, ending around the time of siege of Fallujah, the Abu Ghraib photos, and the beheading of Nick Berg.

Riverbend's writing is passionate and clearly voiced. She talks about mundane details of family life, even sharing holiday recipes; she mocks the "Iraqi" "government"; she calls to task American commenters who accuse her of having succumbed to anti-American propaganda and of being ungrateful for her "improved" life; she rages and weeps about military bombings, religious insults, disappeared neighbors, abducted family members, and Americans who value only American lives.

And through it all, she provides context, explaining who figures and factions are, who they used to be and how things are different now, how people feel about Najaf as a city (or about date trees, or non-Muslims touching a Koran with dirty hands), how transparently ridiculous Bush, Bremer, and the IGC look, how one outrage rides upon the back of another and another so that events that seem disconnected in the American version of the news aren't disconnected at all. I had never been able to make much sense out of news headlines about the Iraq war---everything is disconnected, unfamiliar, and highly suspect as to its veracity---but Riverbend roots the places, events, and people, putting it all against a backdrop of people trying to live their lives.

It's an excellent read. It's an enraging read. It's a demoralizing read. And very, very highly recommended.
  sanguinity | Mar 31, 2008 |
Reviewing someone's life story is nearly impossible, especially if, as in this case, the writer is an ordinary person living through extraordinary hardship and desperate to tell the world something it needs to hear. Riverbend is the internet alias of a twenty-something Iraqi girl blogging through the war and subsequent American invasion. The first year of blog posts have been compiled to make this book. Each page is saturated with pain, anger, frustration and passion. She is not the downtrodden Muslim woman many Americans imagine exist, nor was she a victim of Saddam Hussein's regime. She is politically savvy, articulate, proud of her culture and religion and tolerant of others -- even Americans. Each post is well-reasoned and well-written, appealing to logic as much as emotion. She tells the stories that didn't make it into the American news media, contributing irreplaceable insight into the politics and economics of the war as well as its human cost. Whether you're for or against the war, you need to know how it shaped, altered, shattered and ended the lives of millions of Iraqi people. Read this book. ( )
  cestovatela | Feb 18, 2008 |
This purports to be the publication of an anonymous blog by a 24 year old Iraqi woman and I wouldn't have even picked it up except that the introduction is by Adhaf Soueif, whose work I admire tremendously. Soueif thinks that Riverbend is real, but I confess that I don't. I'm maybe a third or so into the book and I just keep thinking, "No way." Maybe it's because most of what I read on line is not well organized or thought out or well phrased, but this does not hold the ring of truth for me, particularly as she's blogging in English. She claims to be bilingual and "average," but there's just a big disconnect between what she writes about and what Anthony Shadid ("Night Draws Near") saw. Not necessarily even in terms of events and politics. Just in terms of how wealthy her family seems to be, and how unaffected by the sanctions they apparently were, and so forth. I actually suspect that she's an American who has spent a lot of time in the middle east or who is married to someone from the middle east, but I think I'm going to drop this one. ( )
  janey47 | Oct 27, 2006 |
This gives an alternate view of Iraq during wartime from a woman who doesn't fit the stereotypes -- she was a techie working in an office until the war started. She argues that Iraq is more oppressed since the invasion by the United States. ( )
  robotheart | Nov 14, 2005 |
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"In August 2003 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."--BOOK JACKET.

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