I feel that I have been sleeping all my life and I have woken up and opened my eyes to the world. A beautiful world! But impossible to live in.
These are the words of fifteen-year-old Hadiya, blogging from the city of Mosul, Iraq, to let the world know what life is really like as the military occupation of her country unfolds. In many ways, her life is familiar. She worries about exams and enjoys watching Friends during the rare hours that the electricity in her neighborhood is running.
But the horrors of war surround her everywhere—weeklong curfews, relatives killed, and friends whose families are forced to flee their homes. With black humor and unflinching honesty, Hadiya shares the painful stories of lives changed forever. “Let’s go back,” she writes, “to my un-normal life.”
With her intimate reflections on family, friendship, and community, IraqiGirl also allows us to witness the determination of one girl not only to survive, but to create, amidst the devastation of war, a future worth living for.
"Hadiya's authentically teenage voice, emotional struggles and concerns make her story all the more resonant." —Publishers Weekly
“Despite all the news coverage about the war in Iraq, very little is reported about how it affects the daily lives of ordinary citizens. A highschooler in the city of Mosul fills in the gap with this compilation of her blog posts about living under U.S. occupation. She writes in English because she wants to reach Americans, and in stark specifics, she records the terrifying dangers of car bombs on her street and American warplanes overhead, as well as her everyday struggles to concentrate on homework when there is no water and electricity at home. Her tone is balanced: she does not hate Americans, and although she never supported Saddam Hussein, she wonders why he was executed... Readers will appreciate the details about family, friends, school, and reading Harry Potter, as well as the ever-present big issues for which there are no simple answers." —Hazel Rochman, Booklist
“IraqiGirl has poured reflections of her daily life into her blog, reaching all over the cyber-world from her home in northern Iraq. She writes about the universals of teen life—school, family, TV, food, Harry Potter—but always against the background of sudden explosions, outbursts of gunfire, carbombs, death.… [A]n important addition to multicultural literature.” —Elsa Marston, author of Santa Claus in Baghdad and Other Stories About Teens in the Arab World
“A book as relevant to adults as teenagers and children. Hadiya’s clear, simple language conveys the feelings of a teenager, offering a glimpse into the daily life of a professional middle-class Iraqi family in an ancient-modern city subjected to a brutal occupation.”
—Haifa Zangana, author of City of Widows: An Iraqi Woman's Account of War and Resistance