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Baghdad Diaries: A Woman's Chronicle of War and Exile
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Baghdad Diaries: A Woman's Chronicle of War and Exile

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  251 ratings  ·  37 reviews
In this often moving, sometimes wry account of life in Baghdad during the first war on Iraq and in exile in the years following, Iraqi-born, British-educated artist Nuha al-Radi shows us the effects of war on ordinary people. She recounts the day-to-day realities of living in a city under siege, where food has to be consumed or thrown out because there is no way to preserv ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published May 6th 2003 by Vintage (first published 1998)
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3.65  · 
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 ·  251 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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سمارا البياتي

هي بأختصار دورة حياة الفرد العراقي في الطبيعية: حرب الخليج 1990 - الحصار - ثم المنفى

تسرد احداث الحرب يوم بيوم على شكل مذكرات تفطر القلب وتملأه حسرة ومرارة، ولكن بخفة دم واسلوب مليء بالدعابة والمرح

والكتاب جزء يسير من احداث عملاقة وعملية تطهير عرقية لشعب اعزل وعبقري جرت ولازالت تجري في البلاد التي نشأت منها الحضارة وستنتهي فيها الحضارة

أحبب مذكراتك كثيرآ يانهى .. تعلقت كثيرآ ببستانك ومرسمك .. وسلفادور (كلبك الشقي) .. تأثرت بطريقتك الارتجالية في التعايش مع الناس .. ومرحك وسخريتك في التعامل مع الاحد
Aug 20, 2010 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
وقتها كنت ذات الخمس سنوات

ومازالت اميّز رائحة الكمامات

وصوت الانذارات


وكثير من الذكريات


ولكن ماذا لو قرأت لمن كانت في قلب الحدث؟

اتمنى ان يكون قريباً


Mar 19, 2018 rated it liked it
What I appreciated most about this book was an alternative perspective on many modern events of diplomacy and war that I have mostly viewed from a Western lens. It is a stark reminder that war, sanctions, and other political efforts often end up affecting the people of a nation more than the leaders themselves and calls into question many of the actions we deem justified as an outsider. That aside, I just had a hard time with some of the narrative which made the pace of the diary entries a littl ...more
Jan 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a very interesting read since I have only read war diaries that have been written by children in situations where we are not the aggressor. It is important to realize how war affects the innocent people of a country as well.
Abdullah Abdulrahman
يوميات تنقل أحداث حياة أناس عاديين عاشوُا تحت
رحمة القصف الذي حل على بغداد سنة 1991م ( حرب الخليج الثانية )و التي
كانت تحت إدارة الطائرات الأمريكية , اليوميات مليئة بالعذابات
و الصعوبات الحياتية في أحوال الحرب .. أبدعت نهى في وصف التفاصيل
و الكثير من الأحداث .. و التعليقات !
أحببته بحق .
Jan 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
احب قراءة المذكرات وهذه اليوميات القصيره من أجملها ، تحكي ما جرى بعين صادقه
Katie L. 5 Losee
May 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Baghdad Diaries, written by Nuha Al-Radi edited by Anjali Singh, is an autobiography about Al-Radi herself. She keeps a diary throughout the first war on Iraq. She writes her thoughts and the scenes she saw, revisiting that day. She writes about her family and her neighborhood changing scene and emotions day to day. It was really interesting to visualize what happens in Iraq and in the world, and we don’t know about it in our everyday lives. Some things that I didn’t really like about this book ...more
Rachel N.
3.5 stars rounded down

Nuha Al-Radi chronicles her life during the first gulf war while living in Baghdad. The book then moves to her account of living in Baghdad and the effects the embargo had on the country and finally covers her life as an exile living primarily in Beirut. I think this is an important story because it gives a point of view I seldom if ever hear living in the U.S. The author doesn't have much love for western countries, especially the U.S., though she does travel there at leas
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What WE allowed

Much too late reading this book, but now I have confirmation of everything my instincts had been telling me. When will we humans become enlightened to the fact we are such a tiny speck in the grand scheme of universes and work together for mutual survival instead of mutual destruction? I sincerely hope many more will come to read these words from a cultured woman and understand: every single, living being has the right to exist.
أن ترى حرب الخليج من المنظر الآخر.. الحال مؤلم لكنّي لم أتعاطف كثيراً ربما لأَنّني كويتية الانتماء في تلك المسألة!

اليوميات تمثل دورة حياة الفرد العراقي المأساوية، حرب، حصار ثمّ منفى مؤلمٌ جداً..
الجميل أنّها أتت بطابع مرح أحسست بأنّي معهم أمشي بالدارجة الهوائية، أداعب سلفادور، أزرع، أعتني بالنباتات، أضحك وآكل من طبيخ التّنور!

مجدداً أميركا خلف كل شيء؟
عبلة جابر
Dec 02, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
لا اكاد اصدق ان من كتبت هذه المذكرات عراقية اللغة سيئة وكأنها تتعلم العربية أو تحاول تعليمها لغير الناطقين بها
توقعت ما هو أعمق بكثير
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Harrowing. A reminder of just how awful war is. Please can I read something fun next?
Scott Cox
Nuha Al-Radi (recently deceased) gives an Iraqi perspective on the first Gulf War. This is a series of diary entries from a woman who lived in Baghdad during the siege of the first gulf war during the early 1990’s. Her perspective gives insight into how the war was perceived by Iraqi’s – at least the perception of some Iraqis. Perhaps it is the perceptions of the Iraqi upper middle class – those who freely moved between western countries and cultures, and those who possess David Hockney (British ...more
Dec 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
يمكن دة أكتر كتاب أتعبني عموما أثناء قراءته
لأنه عبارة عن يوميات حقيقية للفنانة نهى الراضي يوميات أو مذكرات من بداية الحرب سنة واحد وتسعين في العراق
واجهت معاناة إني أكمل الكتاب في المنتصف لأني تهت وشعرت بغضب شديد تجاه الكاتبة لأنها سببتلي ضياع بين الشخصيات الكثيرة جدًا المذكورة في المذكرات دون علمي بعلاقتها هي بهم، فأصابني إحباط، وبعدين فكرت إنها يوميات أو مذكرات ومش من حقي ولا حق اي قاريء التذمر لأنها حياوات كل شخص ذكر في المذكرات.
الكتاب دة من أعظم الكتب كمرجع تاريخي حي من قلب الواقع لما حدث بي
Jan 30, 2012 rated it liked it
In Dutch: Dagboek uit Bagdad

Een dagboek van een vrouwelijke kunstenaar in Bagdad, dat de moeilijkheden van het leven van burgers tijdens oorlog duidelijk maakt. Aan de ene hand, blijven ze doorgaan met sociale contacten, en voor het merendeel blijven ze positief. Aan de andere kant moeten ze leren hoe te leven zonder electriciteit en een gebrek aan eten. Het was interessant te lezen hoe ze lampen maakten van met benzine gevulde flessen met een lont, op zijn plaats gehouden met geknede dadels. En
Apr 26, 2009 rated it it was ok
This is a tough review - as much as I wanted to like this book I was torn between my own beliefs about our US policies in Iraq and my own judgement of this book. On the one hand, if I give this book a high rating I'm saying it is good or has something timeless - but, unfortunately, it does not. If I give it a low review then those who suffered in Iraq will just say it is another American 'bully' who wouldn't give this anti-American viewpoint a good review anyway.

Well, it is, in my opinion, a ter
Dec 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
this book was on a suggested reading list so i requested it, and i am so glad i did. i have never read anything told from the iraqi point of view, and throughout the war i never heard anything from the iraqi point of view. and wow- i was anti-war before i read this, but's just so sad what humans can do to other humans in the name of "peace" (oil). i think everyone should read this book- it's written by a woman in her 50's throughout the gulf war and a few years after. the damage that ta ...more
Jan 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
"The yellow lovebird dropped dead just before they started shooting. Old age perhaps? We went and bought a new blue mate for the white one. We stopped at a shop called 'Birds and Flowers'; they had dogs and a cage with a baby hyena, a Siamese cat and a baby monkey. They seemed to be living happily together, the monkey was jumping on the hyena's back and the cat was curled up fast asleep in the corner. The owner thought the hyena was a pig! Who would want to buy a hyena? They had no birds."
-- Bag
Oct 21, 2012 rated it liked it
This collection of diary entries is most definitely interesting. I enjoyed reading about the hardships of the innocent people in the middle east that are going through a pointless war. However, I began to grow tired of the repitition of: I'm crapping in the orchard now, so much food, and I hate Bush. The book doesn't really do much throughout besides a few immigration hardships that are understandable during a war. Even I have problems going through airports and I'm Caucasian. Still, this book w ...more
May 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a diary kept by a Baghdad artist during the first Gulf War launched by George Bush Senior and the subsequent embargo. She is writing from her own perspective, as a reasonably wealthy woman with a large piece of land and with contacts who can help her out in a pinch. The evident chaos brought about in her city and her life by the bombing and subsequent embargo are nonetheless shocking. The book's strength is that it is not about big political ideas or agendas, but about the petty, day to ...more
Feb 04, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: never-finished
It is too long, needed some editing. Not well written. The author has too many acquaintances that are not introduced and usually just passing through, so it makes it hard to really get a clear picture of her life. It broke my heart reading a first hand account of the realities of war. Yes, it was very heavy handed politically- but that is understandable. The truth is, my pencil fell out of the last third of the book and I didn't care enough about it to try and find my place.
Feb 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
Everyone should read this!! It was part of a Middle Eastern Women's Lit course I took and loved, and this was one of my favorite works. I think it's always important to learn as much as possible about different perspectives, experiences and views, and this certainly does that -- as well as being beautifully and movingly written. A must-read (if possible in combination with a book about Middle Eastern culture and history)!
May 07, 2009 rated it liked it
Iraqi war told from a citizen's perspective. The author is an artist and not a writer. This is her personal diary beginning when Bush, Sr. first bombed Irag. She comes from an upper class family with ties to Saddam Hussein and at times I thought the book was propaganda. Other times she describes hardships of living in a war torn country and the difficulties of surviving day to day with lack of basic supplies due to embargoes and the mental anguish of constant bombings.
Martina Zuliani
May 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: iraq, non-fiction
Unfortunately, I cannot help myself in disliking the author and, as her writing consists in a diary, the book itself. I found her ideas more suitable to a teenager or a young person, while the author was more than fifty years old, at the time of her writing. She seems to live out-of-the-world, to have ready made solutions to everything and to be spoiled. Her description of war and embargo is nearly limited to her shortage of caviar.

Not a brilliantly written book. The acquaintances of the author are too numerous and usually ill-defined. There are dozens who are never explained, just mentioned briefly then dropped without any of the necessary context.

But the attitudes are there and they are important, I think. This is a very short book, so I recommend it for its ease and impact.
Nov 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
"Space-age warfare meets pre-WWI tactics. This is the most cowardly war of all, a politicians' war, full of lies." (217)

An important read, a bit rambling and disjointed at times, but enlightening to the lived experience of war. Gives real meaning to the phrase 'those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it'.
Angela Lambrix
Apr 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
An interesting narrative from a different perspective, the author gives enough detail to give the readers a sense of what she was witnessing and experiencing without flooding them with graphic imagery. The author's presentation of events from the Iraqi citizens' perspective at times is disturbing and not more than a little ironic.
Michelle S
Apr 23, 2008 rated it it was ok
I cannot begin to understand the conditions the author has lived under however these circumstances seem to have left her quite bitter against Americans and as such perhaps blurred her ability to see who we really are
Lina from Israel
Maybe not a literary masterpiece, but definitely an honest, sincere, self-deprecating and thoughtful account of surviving in one of those war-torn, horror-inflicted places where none of us would want to be, but all of us are riveted by. And the author - may she rest in peace...
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Arab Anne Frank's Diaries, less famous and I wonder why :)
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Play Book Tag: Baghdad Diaries by Nuha Al-Radi 3.5 stars (horizons) 1 13 Jan 13, 2019 08:40AM  

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Born in Baghdad in 1941, Nuha al-Radi trained at the Byam Shaw School of Art in London in the early 1960s and later taught at the American University of Beirut. A painter, ceramist, and sculptor, her works have been shown throughout the Arab world and in Berlin, London, and Washington.

Obituary in The Guardian
“يبدو أن لدى الغرب ثلاث صور فقط عن العرب ـ إرهابيون , شيوخ نفطيون نساء محجبات من قمة الرأس إلى أخمص القدم . لست حتى متأكدة من أنهم يعرفون إن هناك بشر عاديون يعيشون هنا .” 5 likes
“هناك هدف و اعتزاز يفقدهم المرء حين لا يكون له وطن . و هذا الهدف يعني اعترافاً بك , اقراراً بوجودك . أما في العالم الخارجي فإنك لا شيء , عليك أن تعرَّف و تعيد التعريف بنفسك . تبدأ من الصفر في كل مرة . (( من أنت ؟ من أين أتيت ؟ ماذا تعمل ؟ ))” 3 likes
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