Speaking from the heart

Arguably Iraq’s best blogger is receiving her due recognition in the West:

An anonymous Iraqi woman has become the first blog author to be in the running for a big literary prize for a book published between hard covers.

Baghdad Burning, by a 26-year-old author who has won an international readership under the pen name Riverbend, is longlisted for the …£30,000 Samuel Johnson award.

Riverbend began the blog with the words: “I’m female, Iraqi and 24. I survived the war. That’s all you need to know. It’s all that matters these days anyway.”

University-educated Riverbend worked as a computer programmer before the invasion which began on March 20, 2003.

She lost her job, she told her readers, when it became too dangerous for Iraqi women to travel to work alone.… 

Her reflections on the three-year anniversary of the invasion displayed the trauma suffered by so many Iraqis since the country was “liberated.”

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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