Barefoot in Baghdad: A Story of Identity-My Own and What It Means to Be a Woman in Chaos
"Walk barefoot and the thorns will hurt you…" —Iraqi-Turkmen proverb
A riveting story of hope and despair, of elation and longing, Barefoot in Baghdad takes you to the front lines of a different kind of battle, where the unsung freedom fighters are strong, vibrant—and female.
An American aid worker of Arab descent, Manal Omar moves to Iraq to help as many women as she can r...more
Barefoot in Baghdad is going to be a hard book for me to review because I have very mixed feelings about it.
First, let me make it clear that I applaud the author for the work she was, and is, doing. I have nothing but respect and admiration for that.
The author, who describes herself as an Arab, an American, a Palestinian, a Southerner, a Muslim, and a woman, traveled to Iraq as an American aid worker. In addition, she chooses traditional dre ...more
I hated it. It is very anti American. I'm surprised Sourcebooks picked it up because they have normally chosen their publications very well.
You got a woman, born in Saudi Arabia, of Palestine descent who has had the opportunity to live the American dream. While she has been living comfortably in America as a citizen with all the benefits, Iraq has been under Saddam and living in oppression and with fea ...more
While I do wish that the book had information regarding the women that Ms. Omar met I still found the book to be a compelling read regarding some of the atrocities that happen to the people of Iraq. I believe the book provided a personal element to what can sometimes be just an impersonal piece of news to some of us h ...more
The story begins with Manal attempting to assist Kalthoum, a 16 year old girl who was married off at the age of 13, raped and abused, and escapes to the streets to ...more
I was sourly disappointed.
The writing style is one of two huge problems I had with this book. It wasn't engaging, didn't fl ...more
When I first grabbed this book from my library, my first thought was "Probably another war book...with fictional characters trying in to reenact people in their situation." Reluctantly I began reading, immediately regretting my first thoughts.
I've always known about the Iraq war, a war which started because the US believed it had "weapons of mass destruction" and always felt neutral about it like any other war. Like, "What ...more
The story of Women for Women International I think could have been good, but it was just ...more
Barefoot in Baghdad takes its title from a popular Iraqi-Turkmen proverb that says, "walk barefoot and the thorns will hurt you." It is often used as a warning to those who challenge societal norms.
Manel Omar is an American Muslim Palestinian and Southerner who tells her her story in a midst of chaos. She traveled to Iraq as a co-worker to work among an organization called Women for Women which supports maltreated and tortured women during the Sadam regime and after war.
Her traveling was re ...more
I am not Muslim but I am a woman and I can not help but notice the "stink eye" that some Muslim get when they were their at times stu ...more
It was also interesting to me to read about what it was like in Ira ...more
She can pick up a phone in Iraq and call a women in Washington DC for language translation but she can't bring herself to call a women in Iraq who was a dear friend to her and express condolences for the loss of her husband.
I suspect she wrote the book as part of her journey to better understand herself and reach closure.
She talks of strong Iraqi women and then changes to them not succeedin ...more
I felt like she seemed to jump around a bit; from one thing to another and sometimes I couldn't quite tell what the connection was. I feel like she was trying to touch on too many different aspects of her time spent in Iraq and maybe she should have gone into more detail on fewer topics she covered.
I felt like it was slow moving, b ...more