After the war, women in Iraq could be groped for not veiling, dragged out of their cars and whipped for driving, and beheaded for talking to an American. Yet before the war of "liberation", Iraqi women were professors, lawyers, and engineers. They enjoyed more privileges than most other Arab women. How and why did the US's involvement in Iraq result in greater oppression for Iraqi women?
In Sisters in War, journalist Christina Asquith tells the story of the Iraq war and its aftermath through the eyes of four women who survived it: Iraqi sisters Zia and Nunu, US reservist Heather Coyne, and Washington, D.C. women's rights activist Manal Omar. Asquith weaves their fascinating stories together to create a larger picture of women's experience in Iraq during the occupation.
From Zia, who chooses to work for the Americans, engage in a relationship with an American man, and ultimately emigrate to America, to Nunu, who goes from a shy student to a defiant advocate of women's rights, to Heather, whose faith in the US's moral obligation to spread freedom and democracy in the Middle East is shaken by what she sees, Asquith shows us a side of the Iraq War that has received far too little attention.
Sisters in War is not simply about sharing a few women's stories. Asquith uses these narratives as opportunities to explore the choices many women in Iraq faced in the aftermath of the war: to endure violence if they would not veil, to emigrate, or to give in to the pressures of rising fundamentalism and sectarian violence. No other book has told the devastating and painful story of women in the Iraq war, and Christina Asquith, who spent two years in Baghdad on assignment for the New York Times, tells it with the compassion, grace, and rightful outrage of a dedicated reporter.
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Fantastic a must read.
I loved the narrator and the way she told the story. I felt part of the family during the whole book and my eyes were opened to the culture and understanding of the ways of woman in a Muslim life.
Them all, I cannot honestly split them out but I will miss Zia and Nunu.
it made me gasp in horror at times of what this poor culture have had to endure.
Loved it, thanks Audible.
- Amazon Customer
Informative and hard to put down!
The reader was not monotonous at all. Well done!
I can't say as I've not read a book quite like it. The story was part historical events and part personal stories of a family, Zia and Nunu's family and other women (Manul and Heather) who worked in the Green Zone.
Zia and Manul.
There was a point when I was despairing for Nunu as she was sinking further into depression as the country was being taken over by insurgents and the state of anarchy. I thought she was going to commit suicide but she did not!
The story also revealed the difficulty, and grave danger, many Iraqi women find themselves in desperately trying to forge themselves a career, while at the same time trying to democratize a society that had been under a dictatorship and was then taken over by an essentially perverted theocratic ideology.
I've been reading quite a few books centred on the Middle East to try to better understand the state we are in. I recommend this book to anyone who wishes to gain an insight into the war in Iraq from the point of view of the Iraqi people who have been finding themselves surviving years of constant civil unrest because of errors made by the US (and UK) and their lack of understanding of Middle Eastern society as a whole.
I've greatly enjoyed this book and couldn't put it down!