BIOGRAPHY

Waiting for the Rain: An Iraqi Memoir

Mawenzi House. 2019. 232p. ISBN 9781988449906. pap. $24.95. MEMOIR
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Using her own poetry, art, and reflection, Al Ethari takes readers on a journey through her life in Iraq, before the country became a center of international conflict—a country where her ancestors lived for centuries and from which she fled with the hope to create a better life for her and her family. Here she travels back and forth through time to help readers understand Iraq’s lush history and beauty and how all that changed during the 20th century. She writes this book not only as a tribute to her homeland but also to her children and other Iraqis, those like her who left their birth country, but also those who continue to live there. Al Ethari depicts how the military conflict impacted Iraqis throughout the country, and her voice serves as one for her people yet will resonate with all readers. The final poem, “After the Rain,” highlights her love for Iraq, celebrating the rain that falls after so many troubling years.
VERDICT An engaging read for poetry, memoir, and art aficionados, especially those with an interest in the Middle East and particularly Iraq.

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