sirènes de Bagdad: roman
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sirènes de Bagdad: roman

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  958 ratings  ·  118 reviews
Kafr Karam. Un petit village aux confins du désert irakien. On y débat devant la télévision, et surtout on s'y ennuie, on attend, loin de la guerre que viennent de déclencher les Occidentaux et qui embrase le reste du pays. Mais le conflit, avec son lot de brutalités, d'incompréhensions et de bavures tragiques va finir par rattraper cette région où la foi, la tradition et...more
337 pages
Published May 15th 2006 by Julliard (first published 2006)
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Anyone who wants to understand why we should get out of Iraq today, every single American soldier, should read this book. To Iraqis, American style democracy is totally irrelevant. We need to understand what IS important to Iraqis to understand the harm we are doing. It also provides a window into the mind of a suicide "bomber".
Peter Way
Without a doubt you must read this book to understand how easily young people are recruited into the ranks of terrorists and suicide bombers. If you take an interest in current affairs in the Middle East you will readily see how the West and the attitude of some soldiers, especially trigger-happy GIs, only make matters worse. It is a powerful novel, well written and persuasive in its arguments. It is highly topical, whether Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, or even future Iran, but it is also the story...more
لطيفة الحاج

أرجأت كتابة رأيي في الكتاب لا أدري لماذا، بالأمس حلمت بالشخصيات، عشت أحداث الرواية والفيروس الذي حقن به البطل!

واضح أنني تأثرت بالكتاب، ياسمينا خضرا روائي رائع، عبقري وله أسلوب فريد ومشوق.

هذه الرواية الخامسة التي أقرؤها له، ولم أجد كتبا مترجمة الى العربية غير هذه الكتب..

أعود الى الرواية.. هي عن شاب عراقي دفعه شعوره بالعار الى الهروب من قريته الهادئة في الصحراء الى بغداد رغبة في استرداد شرفه بالانتقام من الامريكان، من العالم كله..

ضايقتني الترجمة في بعض الفقرات، بدت لي كأنها ترجمة حرفية وذلك أ...more
Forced to leave the University of Baghdad when the Americans invade Iraq, a young man returns home to his small desert village, where he witnesses three unspeakable acts of violence committed by American soldiers. Consumed by a desire for revenge, the youth returns to the city where is he is taken in by a radical group. Before long, he finds himself part of a terrorist operation which will take him to London. But as the time to board the plane draws near, he struggles to reconcile himself to his...more
The novel purpots to get the reader inside the mind of a suicide bomber. The intention is interesting, but it fails on execution, (view spoiler).

I found the dialogues to be contrived. They come off as though spoken for some generic western reader whose image of the Middle East is fraught with caricature.

Here's an example:

“If the West could only understand our music, if it could even just listen to us sing, if it could hear our soul in the vo
We were poor, common people, but we were at peace. Until the day when our privacy was violated, our taboos broken, our dignity dragged through mud and gore ... until the day when brutes festooned with grenades and handcuffs burst into the gardens of Babylon, come to teach poets how to be free men ...

We're honest by vocation.

My father had suddenly turned into an old man. His village-elder aura had vanished; his look of command had no more vigor and no more range.

The world is run by the forces of...more
بينما كنت أبحث في احدى المكتبات عن رواية مميزة اشبع بها غرائزي الأدبية، وقع بين يديّ رواية لشخص يدعى “ياسمينة خضرا”، في بادئ الأمر تتخيل انها كاتبة نسبة إلى الإسم. تصفحت بعض الصفحات بعد أن قرأت مقطعاً طبع على الغلاف الخلفي، الرواية تتناول واقعة سقوط العراق والدخول الاميركي للبلاد على لسان شاب من احدى القرى.

فعد البحث عن الكاتبة عبر المواقع الالكترونية تبين لي ان “ياسمينة خضرا” هو الاسم المستعار للملازم في القوات المسلحة الجزائرية محمد مولسهول، والذي قرر بعد 36 عاماً من الخدمة اعتزال الحياة العسكر...more
It was a thrilling page turner. I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated his exquisite detailing and how he made readers enter into the world of the narrator. It also opened my eyes to the realities of the Arab world. Being an outsider to the War in Iraq, I would have only seen what is shown on the Western media. But this book explores the very experiences of those innocent Arabs whose only intention was to live a normal, unperturbed existence yet are sucked into a nightmare. Nothing could justify t...more
C.J. Prince
If you haven't read this book, put it on the top of the stack! What is truth? What causes war? How can we come to a place of common ground? This novel reads with authenticity from the point of view of a young Bedouin man in Iraq. The remote, small village runs smoothly with respect and ancient patterns. After the Americans begin bombing, everything changes. Terrorized by senseless violence, he travels to Baghdad in search of revenge.

This is on my list of anti-war books, starting decades ago with...more
Stephanie Ruttman
I'm not sure why I'm giving this one two stars. This is the third novel I've read by Khadra (a man, not a woman), and it was worse than the first one (which was incredibly depressing). I'm not quite sure what he's attempting with these novels, and I don't plan to read any more of his works.
I pick up my bag and take one last look at the bedroom, the living room, the sun-splashed window. What am I leaving here? What am I taking away? Will my ghosts follow me? Will my memories be able to manage without me?
I gather myself around my thighs and, with my chin wedged between my knees, I contemplate the city. My eyes blur; my tears mutiny. I feel sad. Why? I couldn’t say. My anxieties merge with my memories. My whole life passes through my mind: Kafr Karam, my family, my dead, my living,...more
Uzrine Hilal
Avec les sirène de Bagdad je viens d'achever le dernier roman de cette trilogie, trois histoires différentes, dans des lieux différents et des personnages différentes aussi , mais ils ont un point en commun qui les a ralliés tous autour du même maroquin c'est belle et bien la misère du peuple musulman dans les trois histoires qui sont empreintées de notre réalité.

Certe l'auteur avait un avis marquant dans sont récit avec la façon dont il a manié le déroulement des événements,ce qui mène toujour...more
Mar 22, 2011 Julie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Julie by: lit group
A compelling novel of the suicide terrorist. The author keeps us engaged in the internal struggle of a young Iraqi man over whether or not to commit an act of revenge.
Ivana Ciglar
Overwhelming and illuminating reading. It brings out the truth and the reality of Iraq I could have never imagined on my own.

We follow a student in his home village, Kafr Karam, in the wake of the American invasion. He was forced to leave the university and now spends his days in a small village with his family. When American soldiers invade their village he is irrevocably humiliated and refuses to stay in his home. Immediately he is on the road to Baghdad and his revenge. When shame is brought...more
Maria Pilar Gomez
I think Khadra displays good intelligence, lucidity and human understanding on this book, dealing with accountability, responsibility and other relevant society and cultural issues. This book is about how prejudices, dogmatism, judging too quickly, intolerance, not taking the time to look further and to understand differences, (on both directions, from the muslim to the western culture and vice verse) prevent us to see the "big picture", and the cathastrophic results that might imply. I found t...more
The Sirens of Baghdad is truly an eye-opener, provided us with an insight and perspective on the war and the people who directly involved in the war itself. The story was told from the point of view of a young Iraqis and took place during the invasion of US army in Iraq after the tragedy of September 11. He experienced all the damages including the emotional damage due to the cruelty of the war. This is a well crafted story with full of emotions, disappointments, sadness, anger and resentment. Y...more
Dans le cadre de cette trilogie et de ce projet littéraire, ce livre-ci me semble le plus abouti des trois (bien que mon préféré soit plutôt Les hirondelles de Kaboul pour le style et le sujet abordé). Le malentendu qui oppose Orient et Occident y est abordé plus explicitement que jamais et est même nommé à plusieurs reprises. En effet, les Irakiens dont le territoire est envahi ne sont pas seulement en colère contre les Américains, mais contre l’ensemble de l’Occident qui les rabaisse et a perd...more
Kathleen Hagen
The Sirens of Baghdad, by Yahsmina Khadra, narrated by Jason Collins, produced by Blackstone Audio, downloaded from

A student at Baghdad University has to leave his studies and return home because of danger to his family from the Americans and the war. In his own small village, he witnesses the senseless killing by an American soldier of a mentally disabled boy, witnesses the aftermath of an attack on a compound where a wedding party is in progress, the attack occurring because the A...more

This book was about individual sense of right and wrong, individual straggle with hatred and fear. It began in a quiet little town named Kafr Karam, where everybody knew everybody and addressed each other “cousin”. The main character of this story had faced a humiliation,a defeat and a tragic trauma in a short time. He witnessed a dear son of his friend being shot by a GI; a wedding party blew up by a missile and his family humiliation. His innocent was ripped off from him a...more
Il destino, per il ragazzo iracheno di Kafr Karam, è un germoglio schiacciato dallo scarpone marine che abbatte a terra il padre, esponendone la nudità.
È un villaggio che vorrebbe sottrarsi al tempo e lasciarsi cullare dalla musica ma è scosso dal cupo frastuono degli elicotteri. È un malato di mente che corre a braccia tese nel deserto e viene freddato da una raffica di mitra. È una coscienza che non fa in tempo a crescere che già qualcuno è pronto ad appropriarsene.

Il destino è quella cosa che

This is a compelling look into Muslim fundamentalist terrorism, seen through the eyes of a nameless character, a small village Iraqi Bedouin, who goes to university in Baghdad to study, but is forced back to his village when war breaks out, with the expulsion of Sadam hussein. When the war touches the village, the village fool is killed by American troops, who then enter the Bedouin`s home & deeply humiliate his father in front of the family. His world shatters & he flees back to Baghdad...more
Ubik 2.0
Allah akbar (sapevamcelo…)
Ho letto "Le sirene di Baghdad" nell'ennesimo tentativo (il quarto, direi l'ultimo) di ritrovare, almeno in parte, l'impatto emotivo e lo spessore culturale delle pagine di "L'attentatrice", il libro che a questo punto rimane un capolavoro isolato nell'opera di Yasmina Khadra.

"Le sirene di Baghdad" non è un brutto romanzo, ha se non altro il pregio di offrirci un altro quadro efficace dall'interno dell'attuale contraddittorio, sofferto e complesso mondo islamico, dall'e...more
My 2009 bookcrossing review:

Well, this book is really worth reading, although it is grim reading material. I know it's fiction, but all the same it feels like an on-the-ground account of Iraq after the American invasion; and through this you can understand why young men are becoming radicalised and prepared to kill themselves if only to take down a few Westerners with them. Not that I am saying I think it's ok to fall into this mind set at all - quite the opposite and I feel it's really sad that...more
"The Sirens of Baghdad" tells the story of a young Iraqi man, who is disillusioned by the war, and decides to go down a dangerous path to serve his country.

While I have to say that it took me about a third of the book to get into it, and even longer to build up a semblance of interest in the lead character, I cannot help but award so many stars, if only for the message that this novel is sending out.
It should leave a Western reader with a lot of things to consider, and I am not only thinking a...more
I read the French edition of this book. The book tells us the story of Iraqi boy who stoped his studies at University and went back to his village because of the war. He witnessed three tragic incidents in his small village, where the Americans were involved. The third incident took place in his home and it was so humiliating that he decided to revenge. He left to Baghdad were he joined a terrorist group. The peaceful boy became an angry and violent terrorist.

The book is scary. The main charact...more
Whenever i read anything about Iraq, its become personal.i start to critique the writer the novel, the way its been written, ending up hating the whole book all together.
For me, Iraq, Baghdad, or the latest Iraqi war became a keywords for selling books or promoting any idea!
This book was different. it was simple,the story of a young boy who had a simple life in a remote village, who wants to become a doctor and help his family.Alas, this didn't happened.
The sky fell in him, not when his countr...more
A young Iraqi man from a small town in Iraq, attends university in Baghdad , proud to honor his family, only to have to return home after the attack on Baghdad by the US. After witnessing American imposed acts of violence in his own home town and seeing his own family disgraced, this young man goes from someone very passive to someone full of rage , no other option exists except to go back to Baghdad and shed Western blood as a suicide bomber.This story brings us back to Iraq, and gives us the o...more
Jonathan Bennett
This book is better written than The Swallows of Kabul (one of his other books), but the outcome is not hardly as shocking, and a bit of a let down really. The whole book hints at something massive, but never really reaches its potential both in the scheme of the plot and and the style of the writing. One thing I did like though is the correlation the style of writing has with the plot. In other words, when the main character is describing how boring his life is, I found the style of writing rec...more
David Maine
Following last year's excellent The Attack, Khadra writes another scary, powerful story that asks tough questions about what's happening in the world as a result of US policies. The nameless narrator is from a small town in rural Iraq; coalition bombing of Baghdad forces him home form college, but even there the actions of the US forces shock him into resisting. His story arc, which takes him from being a regular guy who denounces violence, all the way to being a committed "terrorist," is scary...more
Kyle Hafar
Along with Swallows of Kabul and The Attack, this forms a trilogy of short novels dealing with two important themes. First, there is the destruction, physical and otherwise, caused by Islamic extremism. But at the same time, the author presents a strongly critical view of the Western/Israeli response to same-- in his view, equally destructive.
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Yasmina Khadra (Arabic: ياسمينة خضراء‎, literally "green jasmine") is the pen name of the Algerian author Mohammed Moulessehoul.
Moulessehoul, an officer in the Algerian army, adopted a woman's pseudonym to avoid military censorship. Despite the publication of many successful novels in Algeria, Moulessehoul only revealed his true identity in 2001 after leaving the army and going into exile and secl...more
More about Yasmina Khadra...
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“He took a fine fresh fig from his pocket and washed it meticulously in a glass of water; then he peeled it open before our eyes. Inside, the beautiful fig was crawling with maggots. The imam concluded his lesson by saying, ‘It’s not a question of washing your bodies, but your souls, young men. If you’re rotten inside, neither rivers nor oceans will suffice to make you clean.” 3 likes
“A brute is still a brute, even when smiles; the eyes are where the soul declares its true nature.” 1 likes
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