By Manal Omar
"Walk barefoot and the thorns will damage you…" ―Iraqi-Turkmen proverb
A riveting tale of desire and melancholy, of elation and longing, Barefoot in Baghdad takes you to front strains of a distinct form of conflict, the place the unsung freedom warring parties are powerful, vibrant―and female.
An American relief employee of Arab descent, Manal Omar strikes to Iraq to assist as many ladies as she will rebuild their lives. She quick unearths herself drawn into the saga of a humans made up our minds to upward thrust from the ashes of struggle and sanctions and rebuild their lives within the face of crushing chaos. it is a chronicle of Omar's friendships with numerous Iraqis whose lives are crumbling prior to her eyes. it's a story of affection, as her courting 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 ability to be lady in a place of birth you now not recognize.
"Manal Omar captures the complicated fact of residing and dealing in war-torn Iraq, a truth that tells the tale of affection and desire in the middle of bombs and explosions."―Zainab Salbi, founder and CEO of girls for girls foreign, and writer (with Laurie Becklund) of the nationwide bestselling e-book Between Worlds: break out from Tyranny: transforming into 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 girls whereas exploring her personal identification. Manal Omar is a talented advisor into Iraq, as she knows the quarter, speaks Arabic, and wears the veil. At turns humorous and tragic, she contains a robust message for ladies, and gives you it via attractive storytelling."―Christina Asquith, writer of Sisters in warfare: a narrative of affection, kin and Survival within the New Iraq
"At turns humorous and tragic…a strong message for ladies, [delivered] via appealing storytelling."―Christina Asquith, writer of Sisters in War
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Additional resources for Barefoot in Baghdad: A Story of Identity-My Own and What It Means to Be a Woman in Chaos
It was natural to me. The mosaic of identities inside Iraq was not hypocritical or schizophrenic; it was what made the country powerful. S. invasion. From weapons of mass destruction to suicide bombings, the lives of everyday Iraqis became inextricably linked to violence. The hopes and dreams that Iraqis once dared to share evaporated in the smoke of car bombs. The diverse peoples who populated Iraq—Arabs, Kurds, Assyrians, Muslims, Christians, Sabaeans—had once sipped tea at their doorsteps, but now they had disappeared from the streets.
There is no equivalent letter p in the Arabic alphabet, and so many Arabs replace it with a b. Growing up, my siblings and I would roll with laughter whenever one of our parents would order a Bebsi instead of a Pepsi. We teased our parents mercilessly to the point that they would overemphasize their p’s when they were in public. Sometimes they were so flustered that they compensated for all the years of mispronouncing p’s by replacing all their b’s. So bikini turned into pikini, and bike into pike.
Second, the program hosted bimonthly sessions in which women would discuss ways to improve their lives. A large portion centered on protecting their rights. At the same time, we would organize awareness workshops centered on health care, family planning, and access to education. The experience of Women for Women International demonstrated that women could only be prepared for the second level of training when their basic needs had been addressed. I explained to my family that Zainab Salbi had founded the organization.