By Asne Seierstad
For a hundred and one days Asne Seierstad labored as a reporter in Baghdad. continuously looking for a narrative some distance much less visible than the yankee army invasion, Seierstad brings to existence the realm at the back of the headlines during this compelling- and heartbreaking-account of her time one of the humans of Iraq. From the instant she first arrived in Baghdad on a ten-day visa, she was resolute to unearth the trendy secrets and techniques of an historical position and to determine how the Iraqi humans particularly reside. What do humans leave out such a lot while their global alterations in a single day? What do they decide to say after they can without notice say what they prefer? Seierstad unearths what existence is like for daily humans below the consistent danger of assault- first from the Iraqi executive and later from American bombs. showing the novelist's eye and lyrical storytelling that experience gained her awards worldwide, Seierstad right here brings to existence an unforgettable solid of characters, from overseas press apparatchik Uday, to Zahra, a mom of 3, to Aliya, the consultant and translator who turns into a pal. placing their belief in a ecu lady with out visible schedule, those and different Iraqis communicate for themselves, to inform the tales we by no means see at the night information.
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Extra info for A Hundred and One Days: A Baghdad Journal
14 Arab-Jewish tensions were also accentuated by the British use of Zionist task forces in their police force. Hostilities grew, culminating in the General Strike of 1936 and the rebellion of 1937-1938 that followed the announcement of the Royal Commission's plan for the partition of Palestine. Palestinian women, as well as men, mobilized in response to the political situation. In 1929, the first congress of Palestinian women submitted a declaration to the British High Commissioner, protesting against 1) the Balfour Declaration, which they described as "the sole cause of all the troubles that took place in the country, and which may arise in future"; 2) Zionist immigration "in view of the political and economic situation of the country"; 3) the enforcement of the Collective Punishment Ordinance; and 4) police maltreatment of Arab prisoners.
A few months before the final demise of Palestine, Afaf was thus left a twenty-nine-year-old widowed mother of three, caught between the dictates of tradition and a disintegrating political context. Afaf's narrative after her husband's death recounts her struggles to take responsibility for her children within this context of complete political and personal crisis. Although she wanted to take the children home to Haifa, her father-in-law refused, fearing for their safety. Haifa fell to the Zionist forces in April 1948.
Her narrative offers a personal portrait of constraint and defiance, op- Page xxx pression and resilience, resistance and transformation. Throughout, it underscores the inadequacy of stereotypes to render the reality of an individual life. Analytical, self-critical, passionate, and sometimes poetic, Afaf provides insight into the truth of that most famous of feminist dictums, that the personal is political. At the same time, tracing a struggle for autonomy played out within contexts of overwhelming political devastation and personal loss, she accentuates the often-forgotten inverse of this dictum: that the political is also personal.
A Hundred and One Days: A Baghdad Journal by Asne Seierstad