Review The Baghdad Clock by Shahad Al Rawi – SHORTLISTED FOR THE INTERNATIONAL PRIZE FOR ARABIC FICTION 2018 For fans of The Kite Runner comes this remarkable debut, the number one bestselling title in Iraq, Dubai and the UAE.
Baghdad, 1991. In the midst of the first Gulf War, a young Iraqi girl huddles with her neighbours in an air raid shelter. There, she meets Nadia. The two girls quickly become best friends and together they imagine a world not torn apart by civil war, sharing their dreams, their hopes and their desires, and their first loves. But as they grow older and the bombs continue to fall, the international sanctions bite and friends begin to flee the country, the girls must face the fact that their lives will never be the same again. This poignant debut novel will spirit readers away to a world they know only from the television, revealing just what it is like to grow up in a city that is slowly disappearing in front of your eyes, and showing how in the toughest times, children can build up the greatest resilience.
Review The Baghdad Clock by Shahad Al Rawi – I see a lot of news on TV about the state of war in several countries. They cause me a great concern and make me realize how unfortunate they are. I could never imagine what it would be like if a war broke out in my place. I don’t want to lose friends and everyone around me because of weapons. Thinking about that gives me unimaginable horrors. And I found that horror in The Baghdad Clock, a strong story written with a firm sense by Shahad Al Rawi.
The Baghdad Clock is a story written in such a way that doesn’t let the readers know – and do not necessarily have to know – who the narrator is. Based on all the traits described here, our hero is a young Iraqi girl. The story began in the First Gulf War that occurred in 1991. Baghdad was a city that we could imagine its beauty. We will also be taken to meet several other characters such as Biryad (a dog), Uncle Shakwat, Farauq, Nadia and Ahmed. Each character is portrayed with a enough backstory that we feel as if they did exist.
When Baghdad faced international sanctions, it seemed like nothing had changed. Life remained normal and Iraq still seemed like a beautiful country. The narrator and Nadia were two girls full of dreams and hopes for the future. They had thrilling love stories, night adventures, dance performances and other memorable stories. But then came the war, and all that beautiful life was destroyed, leaving a deep wound.
When the story of the war began, I found troubles as my heart felt so heavy. Beyond these horrowing parts, the story is actually depicted with poetic narratives. There are also some fantasy stories and a change of stories between the real world and dreams. But once you give it a try to appreciate each chapter, you’ll see that this book is such a beautifully written poetic story.
To be properly honest, this story is actually heartbreaking, yet it’s also fascinating. Each page of the book carries us deeper into a story that feels real.
A literary fiction that rips your heart out.