Iraq Through a Bullet Hole: A Civilian Wikileaks – Interview with Issam Jameel
Posted by bloggingauthorsadmin
Topics of conversation:
- Returning to Iraq after a 12-year exile
- Threats received while working for Jordanian radio station
- Fears, desperation and daily struggles of Iraqi peoples
- Personal conversion from Islam to Christianity
Issam Jameel was born in Baghdad in 1954. After finishing high-school, he enrolled in the Academy of Fine Arts at Baghdad University and eventually did postgraduate work in theatrical studies. Issam studied acting but was more interested in writing, and he began to write criticism and reviews about local plays that were being performed in Baghdad theaters. This job inspired him to become a playwright, and many of his plays were performed by the National Theater of Baghdad. After departing Iraq in 1994, he worked in a radio station belonging to one of the Iraqi opposition groups against Saddam Hussein. In 2002, he immigrated to Australia where he currently lives.
Through a Bullet Hole: A Civilian Wikileaks
Modern History Press (2011)
Reviewed by Richard Blake for Reader Views (11/10)
Synopsis: A unique on-the-ground account of a country shattered. Iraqi playwright Issam Jameel returned to Iraq after a 12-year exile. Giving up the relative safety of Jordan, he made a perilous journey to Baghdad for a reunion. Unfortunately, the reason for his trip was to grieve for his nephew, recently killed by American forces while guarding an Iraq parliament member from insurgents. Jameel also mourns the loss of a formerly secular civil society replaced by vehement sectarianism, intolerance, and ignorance. Basic human needs like food, water, and power have become an endless daily struggle amidst the shards of infrastructure. Routine tasks, such as selling a house or getting a job are fraught with peril as old scores continue to be settled on religious, ethnic, and political fronts. Everywhere he turns, people are desperate to leave, but fear for the worst. After escaping this madness, he recorded his eyewitness report, desperate to provide an honest and impartial tale of an epic tragedy which has killed more than 100,000 people and displaced many more.
Today, the US government gambles with Iraq’s stability by turning a blind eye to Al-Maliki’s internal policy, especially after Wikileaks revealed his complicity in death squads. We are jeopardizing the hard-won political gains that the US achieved by neutralizing the Sunnis of Iraq when it converted them from fighters and boycotters to voters. The US administration fails to show much real concern for the future of democracy in Iraq except perhaps for its anxiety about Obama’s promises of military withdrawal.
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