Since 2003, Iraq’s bloody legacy has been well-documented by journalists, historians, politicians, and others confounded by how Americans were seduced into the war. Yet almost no one has spoken at length to the constituency that represents Iraq’s last best hope for a stable country: its ordinary working and middle class.
Farnaz Fassihi, The Wall Street Journal’s intrepid senior Middle East correspondent, bridges this gap by unveiling an Iraq that has remained largely hidden since the United States declared their Mission Accomplished.” Fassihi chronicles the experience of the disenfranchised as they come to terms with the realities of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. In an unforgettable portrait of Iraqis whose voices have remained eerily silentfrom art gallery owners to clairvoyants, taxi drivers to radicalized teenagersFassihi brings to life the very people whose goodwill the U.S. depended upon for a successful occupation. Haunting and lyrical, Waiting for An Ordinary Day tells the long-awaited story of post-occupation Iraq through native eyes.
I wish every American would read this book. It is about the daily life of Iraqis from the time the U.S. invaded into 2006. The author is Farnaz Fassihi, an Iranian American journalist.who covered Iraq for the Wall Street Journal. She traveled around Iraq and told the stories of everyday Iraqis. If it an't broke, don't fix it. Iraq was broken, but it wasn't our responsibility nor in our power to fix it. Instead we brought death, sectarian violence, poverty, forced migration, loss of basics such as electricity, adequate hospitals and schools... and so on. One particularly effective chapter imagines what New York would be like if it had gone through what Baghdad has.Fassihi shows the complexities of the situation. There were Iraqis who welcomed the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. For the Sunnis, though, Saddam's overthrow meant a loss of power and prestige. After the invasion, Iraqis knew that the U.S. Army protected only the oil ministries, and it led them to conclude the war was for oil. As their lives descended into chaos and terror, hatred for Americans grew.Here's Fassahi's summary of her time in Iraq:"I've borne witness as people's lives have unraveled around me. I recall a poignant quote from Martha Gellhorn, a pioneer female war reporter, from her book The Face of War: "War happens to people, one by one." War doesn't just happen to the military, whose soldiers are fighting, or to the government, who wages it. It happens to people, one by one, house by house, and family by family. I have not met a single Iraq whose life hasn't been touched by tthe war or altered because of everyday violence. I have heard this sentence from Iraqis, over and over, "until now, we are waiting". What are they waiting for, I wonder. Perhaps for just an ordinary day." (p. 272-3).Too much war coverage in Iraq has focused on America, and seems to not consider Iraqis as important. They are. They are human beings who have suffered at our hands. We need to be reminded of that, whenever we thing we know what is best for the world, and whenever we think we have unlimited power to change the world.read more
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With the intriguing premise focused on the neglected citizens of occupied Iraq, Fassihi, the Wall Street Journal's senior Middle East correspondent, gathered numerous interviews throughout the war-torn cities and religious strongholds of Iraq. The author first came to international attention when a personal e-mail chronicling the "rapidly deteriorating situation" in Iraq made its way onto blogs in 2004; in this book, written in the "same spirit" as the e-mail, she dissects the convoluted conflicts and connections that closely bind the two major religious groups jockeying for control in the occupied land. She talks to a wide range of people, from staid government personnel to fiery clerics to zealous students, about the country's unstable political and social climate. Fassihi, of Iranian descent, cajoles the normally media-shy working and middle-class people of Sulaimaniyah, Baghdad, Kirkuk and Tikrit to speak on the before-and-after conditions of their civil freedoms. Through these conversations, Fassihi posits hard political and moral questions. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved