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Salam Pax: The Clandestine Diary of an Ordinary Iraqi


Salam Pax has attracted a huge worldwide readership for the Internet diary he kept dyring the buildup, prosecution, and aftermath of the war in Iraq. Bringing his incisive and sharply funny Web postings together in print for the first time, Salam Pax provides one of the most gripping accounts of the Iraq conflict and will be the subject of global media attention.

In September 2002, a 29-year old Iraqi architect calling himself 'Salam Pax' began posting daily accounts of everyday...

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Salam Pax has attracted a huge worldwide readership for the Internet diary he kept dyring the buildup, prosecution, and aftermath of the war in Iraq. Bringing his incisive and sharply funny Web postings together in print for the first time, Salam Pax provides one of the most gripping accounts of the Iraq conflict and will be the subject of global media attention.

In September 2002, a 29-year old Iraqi architect calling himself 'Salam Pax' began posting daily accounts of everyday life in Baghdad onto the Internet. Written in English, these postings contained everything from descriptions of the hardships of life in Saddam Hussein’s paranoid regime, to reviews of the latest (pirate) CDs by Coldplay and Bjork, to gossip about his employers. Salam daily risked retribution from Saddam’s regime, as over 200,000 people went missing under Saddam, many for far lesser crimes than the open criticism of the regime that he voiced in his diary.

Salam Pax’s sharp, candid and often dryly funny articles soon attracted a worldwide readership. In the months that followed, as a huge American-led force gathered to destroy Saddam's hated regime, Salam's internet diary became a unique record of the anticipation, anger, resentment, humor and sheer terror felt by an ordinary man living through the final days of Saddam Hussein's twenty-five year dictatorship, and the aftermath of its destruction.

Salam Pax is an astonishing record of the last days of Saddam and the cleandestine diary of an ordinary Iraqi.

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Editorial Reviews

Peter Maass
The most famous and most mysterious blogger in the world . . . Salam Pax was the Anne Frank of the war . . . and its Elvis.
Charles Piller
In turns crass and subtle, provincial and worldly, the diary of Salam Pax has become one voice of an Internet generation alienated from nations and tribes but connected to one another in the most intimate digital ways.
The Los Angeles Times
Leo Hickman
There are dozens of journalists and TV cameras in the Iraqi capital. But the most vivid account of the build-up to war and the start of the bombing has appeared on the internet-on the weblog of an unknown Iraqi writing under the name Salam Pax.
The Guardian
Erica Hill
One of the most talked about [blogs] is that of a man known as "Salam Pax." Both parts of his nom de plume-"Salam" and "Pax
mean peace, in Arabic and Latin, respectively. His accounts of the recent bombings, the current state of affairs in the Iraqi capital and his family's reactions offer an incredible view of life in Baghdad.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802140449
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/10/2003
  • Pages: 206
  • Sales rank: 1,206,928
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.22 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Salam Pax is the pseudonym of a 29-year-old man who lives in Baghdad and writes a column about life in Iraq for The Guardian.

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Read an Excerpt

Sunday, March 09, 2003 ::

A BBC reporter walking thru the Mutanabi Friday book market (again) ends his report with : 'It looks like Iraqis are putting on an air of normality'

Look, what are you supposed to do then? Run around in the streets wailing? War is at the door eeeeeeeeeeeee! Besides, this 'normality' doesn't go very deep. Almost everything is more expensive than it was a couple of months ago, people are digging wells in their gardens, on the radio yesterday after playing a million songs from the time of the war with Iran (these are like cartoon theme songs for people my age, we know them all by heart) they read out instructions on how to make a trench and prepare for war, that is after president saddam advised Iraqis to make these trenches in their gardens.

Other normal stuff we did this week:

* Finished taping all the windows in the house, actually a very relaxing exercise if you forget why you are doing it in the first place.

* installed a manual pump on the well we have dug because up till now we had an electrical pump on it.

* bought 60 liters of gasoline to run the small electricity generator we have, bought two nifty kerosene cookers and stocked loads of kerosene and dug holes in the garden to bury the stuff so that the house doesn't turn into a bomb.

* prepared one room for emergency nasty attacks and bought 'particle masks'-that's what it says on the box-for use if they light those oil trenches, the masks just might stop our lungs from becoming tar pits. They are very hot items since the word on the trenches spread, you can buy one for 250 Dinars and they are selling faster than the hot cakes of bab-al-agha.

* got two rooms in our house ready to welcome our first IDPs-internally displaced persons-my youngest aunt who is a single mom with three kids because she lives farthest away from the rest of us and another aunt from Karbala in the south. Hotel Pax is officially open for the season, no need to make reservations but you might need to bring a mattress if you come too late.

<%%>: salam 6:43 PM [+] From Dear Raed Archive
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Table of Contents

Introduction ix
September 1
October 9
November 28
December 46
January 68
February 86
March 105
April 141
May 158
June 187
Acknowledgements and Blogroll 205
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2003

    Been Reading Salam Since The Beginning

    This is a different kind of review because I haven't had a chance to purchase the book yet, but have been reading 'Where is Raed?' for a long time now. I started reading Salam's weblog long before the war started and followed him through the war. When I couldn't get word about my brother serving with the Marines somewhere in Iraq, I heard from Salam through his weblog. Salam's voice was the one I believed when I wanted to know what was going on over there. Salam's opinion was the one I wanted to hear when the talkingheads in the US started screeching. His news was the only news I trusted, and it was different from the party line that was being fed to us here through the media. I will buy the book, and the book will go on a shelf with my brother's letters from Iraq. The writings of an average Iraqi and a US Marine during that horrible time belong together on the same shelf.

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