Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Barefoot in Baghdad by Manal M. Omar

Books like this become must reads for Westerners because all of us need to put a face on Iraqis and Muslims. We need to understand that in so many ways they and especially women are the victims of war.

Manal Omar has worked tirelessly for the rights of women around the world but she clearly has left her heart in Baghdad. She wrote this memoir to document her time spent in Iraq. It is part harrowing adventure in a war torn country, part how-to manual on responding to women's needs in times of destruction, and part Islamic love story.

The writing is at its most compelling when she tells individual stories of women she meets, their often horrifying problems, and the struggles she has to help each one.

The memoir turned into a page turner at the end as she fled Iraq and realized her love for a man with whom she had been working. Seeing how two Muslims would manage to find love and pursue a life together in Islamic culture was also fascinating.

This is an early review book so I have a copy if anyone would like to borrow it.

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