Baghdad Burning – a book by Riverbend
Anonymous Iraqi woman’s blog gives a human face to war and occupation.
On her riveting web blog, a remarkable young Iraqi woman gives a human face to war and occupation. In August 2003, the world gained access to a remarkable new voice: a blog written by a 25-year-old Iraqi woman living in Baghdad, whose identity remained concealed for her own protection. Calling herself Riverbend, she offered searing eyewitness accounts of the everyday realities on the ground, punctuated by astute analysis on the politics behind these events.
Riverbend recounts stories of life in an occupied city—of neighbors whose homes are raided by U.S. troops, whose relatives disappear into prisons, and whose children are kidnapped by money-hungry militias. The only Iraqi blogger writing from a woman’s perspective, she also describes a once secular city where women are now afraid to leave their homes without a head covering and a male escort.
Interspersed with these vivid snapshots from daily life are Riverbend’s analyses of everything from the elusive workings of the Iraqi Governing Council to the torture in Abu Ghraib, from the coverage provided by American media and by Al-Jazeera to George W. Bush’s State of the Union Speech. Here again, she focuses especially on the fate of women, whose rights and freedoms have fallen victim to rising fundamentalism in a chaotic post-war society.
Riverbend is the pseudonym of a woman who in 2003 began writing a blog relating her first hand experiences of the US invasion and then occupation of her native Iraq. Once a computer programmer in a modern, secular state, Riverbend discusses with honesty and acute political awareness the changes that resulted in the rise of religious fundamentalism.