Dancing in the No-Fly Zone: A Woman's Journey Through Iraq

Hadani Ditmars, Author
Hadani Ditmars, Author Olive Branch Press $16.95 (263p) ISBN 978-1-56656-634-6
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-84437-063-4
Paperback - 260 pages - 978-1-55192-735-0
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There is a place where a non-profit agency arranges for homeless people to live in an abandoned swimming pool, where a 12-year-old diabetic boy works in a shoe factory to buy insulin, where a woman who was once an engineer now defends her property with a Kalashnikov, and where a musician continues playing Beethoven's Sonata in G-minor while missile strikes light up the night. Canadian journalist Ditmars toured these and other lesser-known quotidian realms of post-invasion Iraq in 2003, and in this book shuttles back and forth between her pre-and post-invasion reporting trips to create a portrait of a land that is now more dangerous than ever, especially for Iraqi women. Ditmars does not flinch in the face of irony, nor is she shy about her politics and anti-American perspective as she presents a persuasive and sympathetic case for her point of view, but the book would be richer if these stories were better balanced and anchored to a deeper historical-political context. A reader who is already familiar with the complexities of contemporary Iraq will reap the greatest benefit. Nonetheless, the world Ditmars reveals to general readers is both fascinating and heart wrenching, adding often overlooked human stories to the war in Iraq. Photos.
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