• Title: Barefoot in Baghdad: A Story of Identity-My Own and What It Means to Be a Woman in Chaos
  • Author: Manal M. Omar
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 306
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Barefoot in Baghdad A Story of Identity My Own and What It Means to Be a Woman in Chaos Walk barefoot and the thorns will hurt you Iraqi Turkmen proverb A riveting story of hope and despair of elation and longing Barefoot in Baghdad takes you to the front lines of a different kind of b
    Walk barefoot and the thorns will hurt you Iraqi Turkmen proverb A riveting story of hope and despair, of elation and longing, Barefoot in Baghdad takes you to the front lines of a different kind of battle, where the unsung freedom fighters are strong, vibrant and female.An American aid worker of Arab descent, Manal Omar moves to Iraq to help as many women as she can r Walk barefoot and the thorns will hurt you Iraqi Turkmen proverb A riveting story of hope and despair, of elation and longing, Barefoot in Baghdad takes you to the front lines of a different kind of battle, where the unsung freedom fighters are strong, vibrant and female.An American aid worker of Arab descent, Manal Omar moves to Iraq to help as many women as she can rebuild their lives She quickly finds herself drawn into the saga of a people determined to rise from the ashes of war and sanctions and rebuild their lives in the face of crushing chaos This is a chronicle of Omar s friendships with several Iraqis whose lives are crumbling before her eyes It is a tale of love, as her relationship with one Iraqi man intensifies in a country in turmoil And it is the heartrending stories of the women of Iraq, as they grapple with what it means to be female in a homeland you no longer recognize Manal Omar captures the complex reality of living and working in war torn Iraq, a reality that tells the story of love and hope in the midst of bombs and explosions Zainab Salbi, founder and CEO of Women for Women International, and author with Laurie Becklund of the national bestselling book Between Two Worlds Escape from Tyranny Growing Up in the Shadow of Saddam A fascinating, honest, and inspiring portrait of a women s rights activist in Iraq, struggling to help local women while exploring her own identity Manal Omar is a skilled guide into Iraq, as she understands the region, speaks Arabic, and wears the veil At turns funny and tragic, she carries a powerful message for women, and delivers it through beautiful storytelling Christina Asquith, author of Sisters in War A Story of Love, Family and Survival in the New Iraq At turns funny and tragic a powerful message for women, delivered through beautiful storytelling Christina Asquith, author of Sisters in War

    One Reply to “Barefoot in Baghdad: A Story of Identity-My Own and What It Means to Be a Woman in Chaos”

    1. [Note: the copy I read was titled Barefoot in Baghdad.Barefoot in Baghdadis going to be a hard book for me to review because I have very mixed feelings about it.First, let me make it clear that I applaud the author for the work she was, and is, doing. I have nothing but respect and admiration for that.The author, who describes herself as an Arab, an American, a Palestinian, a Southerner, a Muslim, and a woman, traveled to Iraq as an American aid worker. In addition, she chooses traditional dress [...]

    2. I was actually unable to finish this, but I paid ten dollars for it so I am stating my opinion.I hated it. It is very anti American. I'm surprised Sourcebooks picked it up because they have normally chosen their publications very well.You got a woman, born in Saudi Arabia, of Palestine descent who has had the opportunity to live the American dream. While she has been living comfortably in America as a citizen with all the benefits, Iraq has been under Saddam and living in oppression and with fea [...]

    3. I really enjoyed the book and disagree with those who consider the book anti-American. It is not a requirement to blindly agree and follow the government or military, but I digress.While I do wish that the book had information regarding the women that Ms. Omar met I still found the book to be a compelling read regarding some of the atrocities that happen to the people of Iraq. I believe the book provided a personal element to what can sometimes be just an impersonal piece of news to some of us h [...]

    4. Manal is an American Muslim who follows Muslim traditions and chooses to wear a veil. She seeks out opportunity to return to Iraq, a country she fell in love with years ago and becomes the director of a small organization to assist women in Iraq; the women who are primary breadwinners but unskilled, widows, divorced women, and others. The story begins with Manal attempting to assist Kalthoum, a 16 year old girl who was married off at the age of 13, raped and abused, and escapes to the streets to [...]

    5. Barefoot in baghdad has been successful in creating pathos and touching my heart greatly. It is probably because I myself am a muslim living in a country torn and vindicted by war. Although I am not being affected directly by it but the overall tension and atmosphere of distrust is heartwrenching. I think this novel by Manl Omer is a very small part of the picture she is trying to build. I dont think anyone could write about the atrocities and harsh difficulties faced by the iraqi civilians. The [...]

    6. "Barefoot in Baghdad" for me, is possibly one of the best books I've read.When I first grabbed this book from my library, my first thought was "Probably another war bookwith fictional characters trying in to reenact people in their situation." Reluctantly I began reading, immediately regretting my first thoughts.I've always known about the Iraq war, a war which started because the US believed it had "weapons of mass destruction" and always felt neutral about it like any other war. Like, "What ca [...]

    7. totally disappointing! I forced myself to finish this book in hopes the author would shake herself out of the self justification of why she felt she needed to prove to everyone she was not really an American but not really Palestinian; not really supportive of the US military until she had no other options; proving that whining is a sure way to wear down your superiors and family; why escaping from a war zone at the last possible moment, putting your friends at risk to humor your self imposed im [...]

    8. I liked this book better then I thought I would. It's a memoir of Manal Omar as she went to Baghdad to work for an international aid group trying to help Iraqi women get a better life. She is very candid about the struggles of being a Muslim-American who doesn't seem to be accepted by either side very easily. She was very honest about her struggles, her prejudices, and how some of her decisions didn't prove very effective. I liked that she was able to admit her failures just as much as her succe [...]

    9. This book was a page turner from day 1. I kept on finding creative ways to sneak away for "just one more chapter!" Very well written and gives the reader an eye opening look at the life of an aid-worker in Iraq during the Iraq war. My heart went out to every one of the female characters Manal tried her hardest to assist. I found myself engulfed in tears when she recounts how she made Yusuf and the others turn the car around to go back to the orphanage, knowing she couldn't bear leaving her there [...]

    10. As a student doing research on Iraqi women experiences during the war, this book added almost nothing to my knowledge! not much about women's struggles in depth

    11. I really liked this book. I appreciated the author's candid style in telling not only her experience but the climate of which she found herself. I think it took remarkable courage for her to go to Iraq but I believe part of the reason she was able to feel such a draw and a sympathy to the women in this country was her experience here in American as a Muslim woman. I am not Muslim but I am a woman and I can not help but notice the "stink eye" that some Muslim get when they were their at times stu [...]

    12. The only reason I gave it 4 stars is bc the beginning was a little slow & Omar did not capture my interest with her explanation of all the political organizations she talked about. At times a bit confusing bc too many organizations discussed but in all I really enjoyed this book. I recommend if you have interest in all the unrest/war/corruption in the Middle East - which this focuses on Iraq.

    13. This book offers a detail account of an aid worker who goes to Iraq soon after the invasion by the US military in 2003. She recounts events in detail and gives the reader insight into the dangers of working in a war zone. I did NOT find it to be anti american as she writes about the transformation of the military from liberators to occupiers. It is a reality that many do not want to hear.

    14. An interesting insight into what it was like when Iraq imploded after the fall of Saddam Hussein, from a Muslim American aid-worker's perspective. Such sadness interspersed with the joy of friendship.

    15. I thought this book was oddly devoid of what Ms. Omar DID exactly in Iraq. It all seemed very vague, she talked about setting up women's centers but mostly this book focused on the difficulties aid agencies faced working in Iraq. Which was disappointing to me because I had hoped the story would be specifically about what Women for Women International did in Iraq or even touch on what NGOs in general did in Iraq. Instead (and I guess it makes sense since this is a memoir) the story very much focu [...]

    16. Given the subject this could have been a fascinating book since it is a memoir about a young aid worker who goes to Baghdad to help with women's issues, but somehow the author made the subject BORING (so boring the book was extremely difficult to finish and every time I picked it up it was with dread instead of my usual excitement about reading a book). I think this stems from the fact that the book was written by someone who is not a writer and the fact that the author was so young and immature [...]

    17. Manal Omar's memoir titled Barefoot in Baghdad is a book I just couldn't finish. Three quarters of the way through I simply had to just throw in the towel, willfully giving up. I am a reader of many travel narratives and women's memoirs of this type and found this account extremely boring and lackluster right from the beginning few chapters, continuing on up to the point I couldn't read one more page. The writing style is very dry and factual. The narrative without flow, leaving a very disjointe [...]

    18. Despite her family’s opposition to Omar’s assuming the position of country director in Iraq with Women for Women International, a group that helped female survivors of war to rebuild their lives, she quickly took up the reins of such a position, proving her worth in her many encounters with those women whom she helped free from a life of degradation and fear. The dichotomy of her status, as both Arab and American, born in Saudi Arabia to Palestinian parents and raised in the American South, [...]

    19. Despite her family’s opposition to Omar’s assuming the position of country director in Iraq with Women for Women International, a group that helped female survivors of war to rebuild their lives, she quickly took up the reins of such a position, proving her worth in her many encounters with those women whom she helps free from a life of degradation and fear. The dichotomy of her status, as both Arab and American, born in Saudi Arabia to Palestinian parents and raised in the American South, a [...]

    20. My Review: War. It’s brutal; it’s ugly; few would argue that it is utterly and unilaterally devastating. War is one of the most terrifying creations of humankind and, as such, it is arguably one of the best teachers. (If we’d all agree to learn from it, that is…) Indeed, war reflects an exaggerated version of society as a whole; the way we communicate with one another, the way we view and treat our allies and foes, and even the way we see ourselves and our role within a broader societal [...]

    21. The author of this book is in love with Iraq, her status as a Muslim American of Palestinian background. She is an idealist and we all need to read books of those whose idealism is lived out. The book is basically similar to a diary but she fleshes it out with narratives, thrilling adventures, if you can call getting in and out of Iraq an adventure. As she begins the story she is toying with living and working in Iraq to help the women rebuild their lives. This is her focal point and it is one s [...]

    22. The author is a Palestinian-born woman who has lived in the US since childhood, but maintains a Moslem religious & cultural lifestyle, including the wearing of the veil. In her 1st exposure to Iraq as a journalist, she is smitten with the country & its people, and some years later returns as a member of an NGO devoted to rescuing women in distress- widows, abandoned & abused women of all ages. She helps to set up a mechanism for this but is confronted by the deteriorating situation e [...]

    23. Having heard Manal Omar speak at Georgetown SFS in Qatar, I had high hopes for this book but I was left feeling unsatisfied. It is the story of her time in Iraq in 2003/4, when she worked for an NGO called Women for Women International. She had to fight hard to have her family's blessing for her to go there, a difficult task for an unmarried Arab American woman for whom her father had right of veto on whether or not she could go. The book touches on the many difficulties she faced in her work, p [...]

    24. I always enjoy memoirs. I enjoy stories, of people. People who are living out their passions and finding a side of a bigger story most people don't have the privelege of knowing. Manal Omar's Barefoot in Baghdad provided me a personal, emotional story of the not only her life but the life of many admirable woman from Iraq and the world over as well as a number of admirable men who mutually understand the value of women. At times, I wish there were more details of her experiences but enjoyed the [...]

    25. Manal told this story in a conversational tone. True to most conversations, she wove in and out of it, introducing diverse elements easily and leaving them just as easily. I would have appreciated more consistency and more focus upon her actual work. The narrative picks up drama towards the end, when Manal's safety becomes untenable and she must evacuate. I would have liked to hear more about the women she helped. Much of the book is wasted on prolonged accounts of her moves into various apartme [...]

    26. Thought-provoking, eyeopening, and well written. The book centres Manal Omar's experiences working in Iraq to provide relief to women in dire situations. Additionally, it discusses Omar's personal story of identity of being an American-Palestinian Muslim woman choosing to wear the hijab in a war torn country. Based on other reviews I came across for this book, some were convinced Manal Omar was anti-American. It is clear that for those who have this conception did not actually read the book. Man [...]

    27. it's 4:49 in the morning and i just finished reading this book and thought i better review it when it's still fresh in my head. this book is everything i wonder about when i meet someone new at school and i hear they just moved from iraq. i usually just avoid looking at them, not because i think war is infectious like that, but because my curiosity could be seen disrespectful and insensitive. the book tells stories of iraq, the women of iraq more specifically. the author seems to be taken in by [...]

    28. As an avid supporter of Women for Women International, I was excited to read a first hand "boots on the ground" account of one of the key players for this program in Baghdad. While I admire Omar's courage for starting the Baghdad program without her families blessing and amidst extremely dangerous conditions, I was disappointed that there were very few details as to where my sponsorship $'s went. I was craving an anecdotal account of a true success story (or really i just wanted to read a letter [...]

    29. I received this book by accident from the publisher. I tried to get into this book but I just could not get past the third chapter. I believe that the author had been through a lot as she helped women. I was put out by the author mentioning that this was not a politically motivated book but then throughout the first part of the book there were many mentions of the errors of the US government.The author has me tuned out when she continued to include her strong opinion about the mistakes of the go [...]

    30. Manal Omar is an Arab-American woman with liberal ideals and a humanitarian spirit. In 2003 she travels with the non-governmental organization Women for Women International that goes into war-torn countries and begins rebuilding communities, from the women up. Manal had been to Iraq years before, and remembers it for it's history, beauty, and resilient people. This is her story of what it was really like to live in Iraq from 2003-2005, what the people were really like, as well as stories of the [...]

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