Les Sirènes de Baghdad by Yasmina Khadra

Review contributed by Nadim Hajjar.

One of the first books I read, it attracted me because of its title. I was in France and needed anything to remind me of Lebanon and/or the Arab world. A very nice book written by Yasmina Khadra also known as Mohammed Moulessehoul, an Algerian author who hid his identity for many years to escape military censorship.

This book is the story of a young Iraqi provoked by the American occupation of Iraq.  When our pride is hurt, our family hierarchy is broken, when we don’t know anymore the difference between resistance and terrorism, when we kill innocent people without mercy, we certainly are in Baghdad hearing the sirens.

A book that digs in the roots of the misguided neo-resistance that appeared in the Arab and Islamic world with the penetration of American neo-democracy in this world. It provoked me and will provoke every Lebanese and Beirut lover in the beginning of the book, and it challenged my personal ideas and principles about resistance and armed conflicts. This book written in a very pleasant and smooth style should be on your to-read list.

PS: I read it in French

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