The Devil You Don't Know: Going Back to Iraq by Zuhair al-Jezairy, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
The Devil You Don't Know: Going Back to Iraq

The Devil You Don't Know: Going Back to Iraq

by Zuhair al-Jezairy
     
 

"What really comes through and is startlingly refreshing are al-Jezairy’s encounters with ordinary Iraqis . . . during the American occupation. Through them come all the extraordinary Iraqi stories that have been so hard for Westerners to capture all these years." Rageh Omaar

In 1979, journalist Zuhair al-Jezairy fled Iraq and certain death after openly

Overview

"What really comes through and is startlingly refreshing are al-Jezairy’s encounters with ordinary Iraqis . . . during the American occupation. Through them come all the extraordinary Iraqi stories that have been so hard for Westerners to capture all these years." Rageh Omaar

In 1979, journalist Zuhair al-Jezairy fled Iraq and certain death after openly criticizing Saddam Hussein’s regime. Twenty-five years later he is back and cautiously celebrating the toppling of the hated Ba’ath Party.

As editor of a newspaper, he breaks the Oil for Food scandal, disclosing the names of Arabs and Westerners who were involved, and is subsequently forced to resign. He then sets up a television company and travels all over Iraq, documenting the country’s descent into sectarianism and hopeless violence, soon becoming a target himself.

Al-Jezairy’s firsthand accounts of the looting of Baghdad, the destruction of government buildings, and indiscriminate bombings present a searing, personal, and unique view of Iraq after Saddam Hussein.

Zuhair al-Jezairy lives in Iraq, where he manages the country’s first independent news agency, Voice of Iraq. He has published nine books, including two novels, in Arabic.

John West is a journalist and a graduate in classics from Balliol College, Oxford. He has covered three wars in the Middle East as a correspondent for Reuters.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this arresting memoir, journalist al-Jezairy returns to his native Iraq after 25 years in exile to found a newspaper and direct a news agency. Al-Jezairy's prose elegantly captures who and what he finds upon returning after the fall of the Ba'athist regime. The site of his first kiss, his mother's former bed, and the veranda from which he once watched his son board the school bus swirl with present-day reflections of fear, destruction, and death. Al-Jezairy's voice solidifies over the course of the book, mirroring his journey from the disorientation of return to the purpose of bearing witness. With only occasional direct mention of the Americans, the references to their presence bring powerful and necessary insights: "What good is freedom of expression, or the right to vote, if you don't have… the freedom to send your children to school without being afraid that they will be kidnapped?" The author struggles at times with maintaining clarity, but the blending of eras and the focus on intimate moments that unfold free of logic feel honest and human. "What is happening is so strange there is no connection to, or precedent in, the past." (June)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780863566493
Publisher:
Saqi Books
Publication date:
06/01/2010
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Zuhair al-Jezairy is founding editor of independent news agency Voice of Iraq. He is the author of two novels, The Edge of Judgement and The Frightened and the Frightening (both published by Al Adab). John West is a journalist and a graduate of Classics from Balliol College, Oxford. He has covered three wars in the Middle East as a correspondent for Reuters.

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