In her riveting web blog, a remarkable young Iraqi woman gives a human face to war and occupation. In August 2003, the world gained access to a remarkable new voice: a blog written by a 25-year-old Iraqi woman living in Baghdad, whose identity remained concealed for her own protection. Calling herself Riverbend, she offered searing eyewitness accounts of the everyday realities on the ground, punctuated by astute analysis on the politics behind these events.
Riverbend recounts stories of life in an occupied city—of neighbors whose homes are raided by U.S. troops, whose relatives disappear into prisons, and whose children are kidnapped by money-hungry militias. The only Iraqi blogger writing from a woman's perspective, she also describes a once secular city where women are now afraid to leave their homes without a head covering and a male escort. Interspersed with these vivid snapshots from daily life are Riverbend's analyses of everything from the elusive workings of the Iraqi Governing Council to the torture in Abu Ghraib, from the coverage provided by American media and by Al-Jazeera to Bush's State of the Union Speech. Here again, she focuses especially on the fate of women, whose rights and freedoms have fallen victim to rising fundamentalisms in a chaotic post-war society.
With thousands of loyal readers worldwide, the Riverbend blog is recognized as a crucial source of information not available through the mainstream media.
"Anyone who cares about the war in Iraq must read this book."
"Feisty and learned: first-rate reading for any American who suspects that Fox News may not be telling the whole story."
"Riverbend's commentary [is] passionate, frustrated, sarcastic and sometimes hopeful. . . . It offers quick takes on events as they occur, from a perspective too often overlooked, ignored or suppressed."
"A cross between an underground manifesto and a polished cultural history. . . . With its blend of first-person mouthing off and spirited documentary style, Baghdad Burning offers fair and balanced coverage from inside one of the most rapidly changing—and poorly understood—regions in the world."
"Her descriptions of normal life in Iraq, adds a dimension to the war coverage that Western journalists have largely missed. Highly recommended to anyone following the conflict."
"Her command of the English language, and her knowledge of the Western world and of her own culture, make this book even more precious. Riverbend's aim is to raise understanding between Iraqis and Americans while she stands up against stereotypes on both sides. I would recommend Baghdad Burning."