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Welcome to Loot. Checkout Your Cart Price. Description Details Customer Reviews Baghdad in the s, this is the story of Lina, a middle-class Jewish girl who is not keen to grow up while she perceives her world to be restricted by fear and by the political pressures put upon the local Jewish community.
The family finally escapes, ending years of Jewish presence in Iraq. Review This Product No reviews yet - be the first to create one!
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Review: When the Grey Beetles Took Over Baghdad by Mona Yahia | Books | The Guardian
Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. In this vivid story of growing up in Baghdad, Mona Yahia tells a very personal story set against the backdrop of political upheaval and an increasingly fractured society. Lina clings to childhood and the security of her youth during the last peaceful period for the year-old Jewish community in Iraq. When that peace begins to crumble, the usual uncertainties of adolescence are augmented by growing fear following the increasingly anti-Semitic rhetoric from the government and outbreaks of violence which ultimately drive out nearly all of the remaining , Jews in Baghdad.
As Lina struggles to understand these dark changes in Iraq, her first love is forced to flee, her father loses his job, her brother is arrested, and her young friend must search among the bodies of hanged Jews for his imprisoned father. As violent coups, arrests, and executions become everyday occurrences, Lina's family must leave the country they have called home for generations.
In the dangerous flight to the border, they must evade the security police, traverse perilous mountains, and entrust their lives and safety to strangers. The book will resonate with audiences of all ages. Get A Copy.
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Hardcover , pages. Published May 17th by George Braziller Inc.
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More Details Original Title. Other Editions 7. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Jun 30, Ian rated it really liked it Shelves: a-kindle , family-relationships , atw80 , historical-fiction. This a beautifully written novel that encompasses two interweaving journeys.
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Firstly we get the life journey of Lina, a young Jewish girl growing up in Baghdad. We see her develop from kindergarten to the age of sixteen with all the usual and ordinary things that obsess us during our childhood and adolescence.
Teddy bears, parents, pets, learning to swim, school at various ages, teachers, homework, childhood friendships, sibling rivalries, first loves, dances, films, music, clothes, puberty and This a beautifully written novel that encompasses two interweaving journeys. Teddy bears, parents, pets, learning to swim, school at various ages, teachers, homework, childhood friendships, sibling rivalries, first loves, dances, films, music, clothes, puberty and sexual awakening etc etc. So the ordinary stuff of life is all there, but it is set within the journey of a community within a nation, of an Arab Jewish household struggling to survive amidst the extraordinary backdrop of the violent, sectarian, political upheaval that was 's Iraq.
Whilst telling us this poignant story, the author also manages to seamlessly weave in informative passages on the history of Iraq, mostly from the Second World War period. So we get to understand the historical context - the post war explosion of Arab Muslim nationalism and anti-Semitism the latter mostly as a result of the creation of Israel and the repression and expulsion of the Palestinians that leads to a corresponding mass exodus of Arab Jews from Baghdad - from , down to 3, in the 's when Lina is telling her tale.
As Lina grows up, there follows a succession of military coups and new governments who each in turn use the Jewish minority as a target to cement their authority and drive previously well integrated communities further apart.
Lina and her family are increasingly affected as friends and family are arrested without trial, travel restrictions are imposed, jobs and sources of income are taken away and an all pervading climate of fear descends. In scenes all too reminiscent of Nazi Germany, the family eventually must make the choice of whether to flee from their home and their Arab homeland. Jan 15, Lynn rated it liked it. I found myself jumping quickly through a few paragraphs, as the writing didn't enthrall me at every turn of the page, but stick with it.
This book has an amazing look at how quickly this girl's life was turned upside down and soon became the norm as Baghdad went from one government state to the next, through out her young life. Mar 11, Kyra Boisseree rated it it was amazing Shelves: for-class , favorites , jewish-lit , middle-eastern-lit. I just