Barefoot in Baghdad: A Story of Identity-My Own and What It by Manal Omar

By Manal Omar

"Walk barefoot and the thorns will damage you…" ―Iraqi-Turkmen proverb

A riveting tale of wish and melancholy, of elation and longing, Barefoot in Baghdad takes you to front strains of a special type of conflict, the place the unsung freedom opponents are robust, vibrant―and female.

An American reduction employee of Arab descent, Manal Omar strikes to Iraq to aid as many ladies as she will rebuild their lives. She quick unearths herself drawn into the saga of a humans decided to upward push from the ashes of battle and sanctions and rebuild their lives within the face of crushing chaos. it is a chronicle of Omar's friendships with a number of Iraqis whose lives are crumbling earlier than her eyes. it's a story of affection, as her dating with one Iraqi guy intensifies in a rustic in turmoil. And it's the heartrending tales of the ladies of Iraq, as they grapple with what it capability to be woman in a place of origin you now not recognize.

"Manal Omar captures the advanced truth of residing and dealing in war-torn Iraq, a truth that tells the tale of affection and wish in the course of bombs and explosions."―Zainab Salbi, founder and CEO of girls for girls overseas, and writer (with Laurie Becklund) of the nationwide bestselling booklet Between Worlds: get away from Tyranny: starting to be Up within the Shadow of Saddam

"A attention-grabbing, sincere, and encouraging portrait of a women's rights activist in Iraq, suffering to assist neighborhood ladies whereas exploring her personal identification. Manal Omar is a talented consultant into Iraq, as she knows the quarter, speaks Arabic, and wears the veil. At turns humorous and tragic, she contains a robust message for girls, and grants it via attractive storytelling."―Christina Asquith, writer of Sisters in conflict: a narrative of affection, kinfolk and Survival within the New Iraq

"At turns humorous and tragic…a robust message for ladies, [delivered] via appealing storytelling."―Christina Asquith, writer of Sisters in War

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Barefoot in Baghdad: A Story of Identity-My Own and What It Means to Be a Woman in Chaos

"Walk barefoot and the thorns will harm you…" ―Iraqi-Turkmen proverb A riveting tale of wish and melancholy, of elation and longing, Barefoot in Baghdad takes you to front traces of a unique type of conflict, the place the unsung freedom opponents are robust, vibrant―and lady. An American relief employee of Arab descent, Manal Omar strikes to Iraq to assist as many ladies as she will be able to rebuild their lives.

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Extra resources for Barefoot in Baghdad: A Story of Identity-My Own and What It Means to Be a Woman in Chaos

Example text

Iraq had already played a monumental role in my own life. I started my career, back in 1997, in Baghdad. I was a reports officer with the United Nations’ Oil-for-Food Program. Fear of Saddam Hussein led to explicit orders that we were not to mix with any locals. This was more for their safety than ours. I’d always promised myself that I would return to Baghdad under different circumstances. I explained to my parents that this was my chance to live out my dream of helping communities from the bottom up.

In addition to coming to terms with the war and the violence that unfolded before me, I also had to deal with the implications of my growing personal attachments. My Iraqi staff, my neighbors, and local women’s organizations were taking great risks of being labeled traitors or Western puppets just by being associated with me. And yet I found myself developing my own family circle inside the country. The Iraqi women I worked with side by side became my sisters, and the men who risked their lives for my security became my brothers.

Getting to her was my first hurdle. That meant having to clear a checkpoint, one of thousands erected across Baghdad. These makeshift sites were thrown together like a neighborhood potluck, except instead of franks and beans, it was a somber medley of military sandbags, Iraqi and American police, and machine guns. One of the police officers—an older one, with a thick trademark Iraqi moustache—stood to give me the third degree. Who was I? What did I want? The veil wrapped around my head did nothing to assuage his concerns.

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