Baghdad Burning is a refreshing blog written by a young Iraqi woman that bears the tag line “Girl Blog from Iraq… let’s talk war, politics and occupation.” From the heart of the conflict she provides insight into life in Baghdad without the false belief that American forces, the interm government or Iraqi insurgents are truly benefitting Iraqis. The very real look into an occupied nation is facinating and truly moving. In March a book compiled from her entries will be published by New York’s Feminist Press, titled Baghdad Burning.
In August 2003, the world gained access to a remarkable new voice: a blog written by a 25-year-old Iraqi woman living in Baghdad, whose identity remained concealed for her own protection. Calling herself Riverbend, she offered searing eyewitness accounts of the everyday realities on the ground, punctuated by astute analysis on the politics behind these events.
Riverbend recounts stories of life in an occupied city – of neighbors whose home are raided by U.S. troops, whose relatives disappear into prisons, and whose children are kidnapped by money-hungry militias. The only Iraqi blogger writing from a woman’s perspective, she also describes a once-secular city where women are now afraid to leave their homes without head covering and a male escort.
Interspersed with these vivid snapshots from daily life are Riverbend’s analyses of everything from the elusive workings of the Iraqi Governing Council to the torture in Abu Gharib, from the coverage provided by American media and by Al-Jazeera to Bush’s State of the Union Speech. Here again, she focuses especially on the fate of women, whose rights and freedoms have fallen victim to rising fundamentalisms in a chaotic post-war society.
With thousands of loyal readers worldwide, the Riverbend blog is recognized around the world as a crucial source of information not available through the mainstream media. (FP)
I’m very much looking forward to reading this collection when it arrives in under two months. We can only hope that her voice will be heard by more and more of those still ambivalent about the plight of the Iraqi people. We’re lucky to have insight from writers such as her that can avoid the trap of propaganda as much as possible through direct witnessing.
I’ve been drinking gingerbread flavoured tea tonight and have become quite addicted to it. Part of the appeal may be the nostalgia factor. I have fond memories from my childhood eating gingerbread at my grandmother’s home and recall gingerbread desserts at lunch during my elementary school years. Whatever the cause, it tastes wonderful.
A couple weeks before Christmas my parents asked me to order some books for myself online as a present and I did so, finding three books I really wanted that could be shipped right away and arrive around Christmas. A few weeks passed and I e-mailed the company I had purchased the books from in order to check on my order. Soon a reply informed me that they had made an error in listing two of the items as in stock, hadn’t bothered to inform me of this and had sent one of the books already. That week a package arrived for me that held all three books I ordered. Today another package arrived that contained additional copies of two of the books (with a value of nearly $50). It is important to keep a well documented inventory.
It’s been a while since I shared a photo of myself here outside of the photo album, so I’ll include a few shots here for in case you don’t yet know what I look like. The real reason I want to share them is to display my new favourite shirt, one from Stars, my favourite band. Wearing it, I feel like a true soft revolutionary. The shirt itself is soft, made from a very breathable cotton. It can be surprising how influential one’s clothing can be.
My friend Jeff hosts a college radio show at KUTE, the University of Utah station. If you’re looking for something to listen to between 9:00 AM PST and 12:30 PM PST on Fridays, be sure to listen to the webstream the station provides. Jeff has excellent taste in music and plays nothing but great alternative tunes. Tomorrow he’ll be interviewing Aimee Echo of theSTART and playing a Poe block.
Jeff pointed me toward a group called Universal Hall Pass this week and I’ve been greatly impressed by what I have heard so far. They sound a bit like Esthero and Poe touched with Middle Eastern modes, but are definitely a fresh new entity. Of note is their cover of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire”, which they have made haunting, divergent and a great tribute. You can download this song and others at Universal Hall Pass‘ website.
I’m sure most of you folks have heard of the free ipod, free *whatever* offers that have been available in the U.S. for some time now. Now there’s one open to both Canadians and Americans. If you’d like to give it a try, I’d appreciate it if you use my referral link. The offer is legit, for the record.