Flowers of Flame: Unheard Voices of Iraq by Sadek MohammedFlowers of Flame: Unheard Voices of Iraq by Sadek Mohammed

Flowers of Flame: Unheard Voices of Iraq

EditorSadek Mohammed, Soheil Najm, Haider Al-kabi

Paperback | August 29, 2008

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In this stunning collection—the first since the American invasion—Iraqis themselves vividly depict the bombing of Baghdad, the fall of Saddam Hussein, the invaders (on both sides), the sectarian violence—and in the midst of it all, the hardships, loves, and hopes of the Iraqi people.
     This collection was compiled by Iraqis in exile in the U.S. Poets, editors, and translators in Iraq run the daily risk of suicide bombers, gunfire from all sides, and death squads. The poems included here represent Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, the living and the dead, those who remain in Iraq, and those who fled. It is a testament to the courage of all of the contributors.
     Flowers of Flame gives us a deeply touching vision of the heart—and the hope—of today’s Iraq.
Sadek Mohammed is an editor of Gilgamesh, Iraq's cultural journal in English. He is a literary scholar and professor of literature and translation in Baghdad.Soheil Najm is an editor of Gilgamesh, Iraq's cultural journal of English. He is an internationally known poet and translator living in Baghdad.Haider Al-Kabi is author of the poe...
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Title:Flowers of Flame: Unheard Voices of IraqFormat:PaperbackDimensions:96 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.4 inPublished:August 29, 2008Publisher:Michigan State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0870138421

ISBN - 13:9780870138423

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Read from the Book

WelcomeDan VeachDespite years of war and tsunamis of sound bites, this will be the first opportunity many readers will have to meet Iraqis as real human beings, speaking heart to heart. In these pages you will hear the unheard voices of Iraq: men and women, Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds. These poems were collected, as the war raged all around them, by Iraqis living and working in Baghdad. Th is is their message to the world, one that transcends all the barriers dividing present-day Iraq. It is a message that needs to be heard by all sides in the current conflict. Iraq's poets have suff ered imprisonment, exile, and death for the truths they have dared to tell. Poetry is not a luxury in Iraq, but a vital part of the struggle for the nation's future. Th is is poetry that is feared by tyrants and would-be tyrants. How do they do it? How is it even possible to write poetry in presentday Iraq? One poet asks himself, "How can you extract poems and shrapnel from your chest at the very same time?" Th e answers that you'll find here will amaze you-a "perfect storm" of international headline news, profound humanity, and genuinely great art. You'll find joy here as well as struggle. Arabic poetry has a long and rich tradition of ecstatic love, whimsical humor, and philosophic insight. Remarkably, charm and lightness of touch abound. Even the war invites you to a picnic-from which you will not return untouched. These poems form a continuous "conversation," each one speaking to and illuminating those around it. Th e subjects taken up in turn are war, love, the daily life of the people, and the inner life of the artist. An Iraqi emergency room physician in Baghdad, someone who has surely seen the worst of the current conflict, recently read this collection in English. When he told us that these poems had brought him to tears, I knew that we had captured at least a little of the truth about Iraq....