Writing, Memory, Baghdad

The last issue of Words Without Borders focuses on memory in literature. There is a deeply moving excerpt from an upcoming book, Dreaming of Baghdad, by Haifa Zangana. The author recalls a friend and comrade captured, tortured and executed by Saddam's government. A piece of writing full of affection and almost unbearable sadness. 
I did not know then that it would be the last time I would hear his laugh. When he was arrested, he was on his way back to pick up his suitcase from a friend's place. He did not foresee any danger. He had the false sense of security of a man who is paying his last respects to his city. His instincts failed him, this man who regularly traveled from city to city, refuge to refuge, base to base. 

Read the whole piece (very well translated by the author herself) here.

Ursula Lindsey

Ursula Lindsey is the managing editor of the Arabist blog. She writes about culture, education and politics in the Arab world. She lived in Cairo from 2002 to 2013 and got her start at the ground-breaking independent magazine Cairo Times. She was the culture editor of Cairo magazine in 2005-2006 and served as special projects editor at the independent news site Mada Masr in 2013-2014. She is the Chronicle of Higher Education's Middle East correspondent. She contributes to the BBC-PRI radio program The World, and has written for Newsweek, The New York Times, The New Yorker online, Bookforum and the blog of the London Review of Books.