Barefoot In Baghdad by Manal M. Omar
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks; Reprint edition (August 1, 2010)
“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 rebuild their lives. She quickly finds herself drawn into the saga of a people determined to rise from the ashes of war and sanctions and rebuild their lives in the face of crushing chaos. This is a chronicle of Omar’s friendships with several Iraqis whose lives are crumbling before her eyes. It is a tale of love, as her relationship with one Iraqi man intensifies in a country in turmoil. And it is the heartrending stories of the women of Iraq, as they grapple with what it means to be female in a homeland you no longer recognize.
I read this book a while back and have started to write a review a few times, but always ended up not finishing. Why? I don’t really know, maybe it’s because the book didn’t grab me the way I thought it would.
The author didn’t flesh out what was going on like I wanted. I wanted more of what was happening to the people, and less of the government/organizations. I wanted to get to know her better and find out what she was thinking and going through on a deeper level. That never happened. I still don’t think I “know” much about the emotions the author had while there.
I was left feeling underwhelmed. With all the turmoil, heartache, killings etc. , I thought I should have felt so much more deeply touched than I did.