"Like art itself, this book combines the personal with the political, the material with the visionary, in order to address reality. Rooted in history, it presents new perspectives for the future. For Iraqis to reclaim their humanity has global implications."—Jordan Times
"The book takes its readers on a journey, introducing them to different faces and facets of the country and showing them that no matter how embattled and dispersed cultural production in Iraq has become, it contains beauty even in the most desperate of situations."—Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication
"We Are Iraqis vividly describes and relives this ebb and flow of catastrophe and rebirth via a remarkably rich collection of essays, poems, interviews, and memoirs."—Review of Middle East Studies
"In a very touching account, We Are Iraqis strikes the right chord within Iraqi popular memory, hooking readers' attention towards the suffering of the Iraqi people in general and the middle class in particular. Highly recommended."—Choice
While the occupation of Iraq and its aftermath has received media and political attention, we know very little about the everyday lives of Iraqis. Iraqi men, women, and children are not merely passive victims of violence, vulnerable recipients of repressive regimes, or bystanders of their country’s destruction. In the face of danger and trauma, Iraqis continue to cope, preparing food, sending their children to school, socializing, telling jokes, and dreaming of a better future. Within the realm of imagination and creative expression, the editors find that many Iraqi artists have not only survived but have also sought healing.
In We Are Iraqis, Al-Ali and Al-Najjar showcase written and visual contributions by Iraqi artists, writers, poets, filmmakers, photographers, and activists. Contributors explore the way Iraqis retain, subvert, and produce art and activism as ways of coping with despair and resisting chaos and destruction. The first anthology of its kind, We Are Iraqis brings into focus the multitude of ethnicities, religions, and experiences that are all part of Iraq.
Nadje Al-Ali is professor of gender studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Deborah Al-Najjar is Ph.D. candidate in the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California.
6 x 9, 304 pages