â€śDeftly sketched, simple and poetic, Dreaming of Baghdad drags politics down from the realm of the abstract into the mud, fear, and loneliness of personal experience and psychological ruin that is life under dictatorship. This is a landscape of clandestine struggle and crushing political defeat, of familiar old streets and the alienating structures of exile. Zanganaâ€™s story is heartbreaking, but her clarity and resilience inspire awe.â€ť--Christian Parenti, contributing editor to The Nationâ€śWritten with passion and commitment, Dreaming of Baghdad invoked my own dreams, and the joys and pain that memory can bring. A must-read.â€ť--Nawal El Saadawiâ€śHaifa Zangana illuminates the dark realities of Saddam Hussein's Iraq while remembering what she misses from that complex place and time.â€ť--Sharnush Parsipurâ€śHaifa Zangana proves once again that the act of writing can be truly liberating.â€ť--Dalia Said Mostafaâ€śHow poorer the world would have been without Haifa Zangana's courageous testimony. Drop anything you are reading and grab hold of a copy of this magnificent book.â€ť--Hamid DabashiIn 1970s Iraq, the Ba'ath Party was at the height of its influence in the Middle East and popularity throughout the West. But a group of activists recognized the disastrous potential of the regime as its charismatic leader, Saddam Hussein, became more powerful. Haifa Zangana was among those resisters, a small group of whom were captured and imprisoned at Abu Ghraib.From the distance of time and place, Zangana writes during her first years of forced exile from her beloved country about the time of her incarceration, the agonizing loss of comrades to torture and death in prison, the haunted quality of life so far away from home and family, and the ways in which memory conspires to make us forget what sometimes is most dear to us.Haifa Zangana was just eight years old in 1958 when Iraqis flooded the streets to celebrate their newfound, hard-won freedom from British colonial rule. She came of age in one of the most open societies in the Middle Eastâ€”until it was shut down in the 1970s by the Ba'ath Party. She was imprisoned for her opposition to Saddam Hussein, and since her release has been living in exile in London. She writes regularly for the Guardian and al-Ahram Weekly, and is the author of many books, including City of Widows: An Iraqi Woman's Account of War and Resistance.Ferial J. Ghazoul has been a professor in the department of English and comparative literature at the American University in Cairo since 1979. She is also a co-founder and editor of Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics.
Literature & Fiction, General, General AAS,