From the Editors of the Writer's Digest 19th Annual Self-Published Book Awards December 2011:
Life and times in Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, from the 1940s to virtually the present day, are candidly captured in this absorbing first hand account. The progression from being monarchy to the days of Saddam Hussein and the Ba'ath Party come alive through the eyes of a historical witness. Meanwhile, one gets an intimate glimpse of daily life and cultural values in the Arab city. The relationship between religions is particularly interesting. The material is often highly personal but consistently revealing with fascinating insights. The history of the a city, as well as of a family, are interwoven. The dialogue, both spoken and interior, is rich with meaning. A glossary and family photos are excellent additions. Jessica Strawser, Editor.
Here is an unusual perspective of the Arab family world, for a change no war, no violence, no rape or human suffering. On the contrary this book takes you on a journey of a Christian Arab world in Baghdad, packed with stories of diverse cultures, colors, music, and above all multi religious. The book is put together like an oriental tapestry; tales of a golden age past mixed with the sudden pull to the present, only to be taken back in time again into the ancient history of the orient. Stories of everyday family tales keeps the reader fully awake wondering what is coming up next. Intimate memories dreams and observations of a young naive girl coming of age are shared openly. The book is an easy and pleasant read of a Baghdad as colorful, cosmopolitan and peaceful as it could be again. A good inspirational, motivational, eye opener, reading for young Arabs and non-Arabs, especially for all those interested in the Middle East.
I have very much enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to all interested in the Middle East. The author beautifully describes Baghdad as it used to be - peaceful, the smell of spices and delicious dishes linger in the air. The book is an invitation from the heart to join the author's family and friends on their journey through life. VB. UK
Just returned from exciting NYC to my beloved Santa Barbara. On my five hour flight I finished your delightful book about the golden years of Bagdad. I enjoyed it so much since it coincided with the new fantastic exhibit at the Metropolitan Art Museum : Art of the Arab Lands, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Central Asia that has just started on Tuesday. Your book with so many interesting historical details has helped me to enjoy and understand this fabulous exhibit at its fullest. It was another proof that coincidences don't exist. I want to thank you for this gift that helped me so much to expand my comprehension. Of course not only the historical part impressed me but also the way you talked about human relations and family ties. Often I had to smile reading about them remembering similar experiences I had when I lived in that part of the world. You mentioned how little foreigners knew about the people and the country they worked and lived...so true ! I remember those foreigner communities that I always called ghettos where people huddled together living exactly the way they would have in Europe or America. I always felt sorry for them because they missed out the beauty and the knowledge they could have acquired.
Anyway I just felt the need to communicate what is on my heart and I hope we get together in Switzerland to exchange some thoughts. Congratulation to your book that gave me many hours of pleasure and immersed me back into a world that I still enjoy today. I will never forget the day when my plane left Tehran at the beginning of its revolution, tears in my eyes and great sorrow in my heart. I thanked God for all the lovely memories I carried with me .... I decided then that I will go back one day eventually. It took twenty years and without my daughter that I returned adding some new special memories. Now I will wait till the government has changed and Inshallah that will happen one day ! R. USA
Thank you for this book. I understand so much more now. I never imagined that life could have been like that in Baghdad as you describe it. I had no idea. I enjoyed every word. TM from USA.
What a wonderful, pleasant, entertaining and educational book this is. Congratulations. Just to let you know I bought four copies to give as a gift to my friends. N.T.
Comment to the Group (the Shift) by ruzu: re- Margo Kirtikar's Book
Before we all have to say good bye I'd like to mention again Margo's book with the mystical title 'Once Upon a Time in Bagdad' The Two Golden Decades. The 1940s and 1950s by Margo Kirtikar Ph.D. It's about that multi-faceted pulsating city where Margo spent her first 20 years. It gives the reader an interesting viewpoint of Arabs seen through the eyes of a young non-Muslim female. Her vivid descriptions let you be there as well. So why not spend an evening with her family be it at home entertaining or - how about going to the movies? Reading it you will feel, smell, hear it all (at least I do, thanks to this course. I actually bought the book to read when I go on holidays next month, but I couldn't resist.
Kuffa! I remember seeing these in the early 40s used by the farmers and fishermen to cross the Tigris river!
Copyright 2011 - 2015 Once Upon a Time in Baghdad by Margo Kirtikar Ph.D. Switzerland