Hot Best Seller

War and Me

Availability: Ready to download

An intimate memoir about coming of age in a tight-knit working-class family during Iraq’s seemingly endless series of wars. Faleeha Hassan became intimately acquainted with loss and fear while growing up in Najaf, Iraq. Now, in a deeply personal account of her life, she remembers those she has loved and lost. As a young woman, Faleeha hated seeing her father and brother go o An intimate memoir about coming of age in a tight-knit working-class family during Iraq’s seemingly endless series of wars. Faleeha Hassan became intimately acquainted with loss and fear while growing up in Najaf, Iraq. Now, in a deeply personal account of her life, she remembers those she has loved and lost. As a young woman, Faleeha hated seeing her father and brother go off to fight, and when she needed to reach them, she broke all the rules by traveling alone to the war’s front lines—just one of many shocking and moving examples of her resilient spirit. Later, after building a life in the US, she realizes that she will coexist with war for most of the years of her life and chooses to focus on education for herself and her children. In a world on fire, she finds courage, compassion, and a voice. A testament to endurance and a window into unique aspects of life in the Middle East, Faleeha’s memoir offers an intimate perspective on something wars can’t touch—the loving bonds of family.


Compare

An intimate memoir about coming of age in a tight-knit working-class family during Iraq’s seemingly endless series of wars. Faleeha Hassan became intimately acquainted with loss and fear while growing up in Najaf, Iraq. Now, in a deeply personal account of her life, she remembers those she has loved and lost. As a young woman, Faleeha hated seeing her father and brother go o An intimate memoir about coming of age in a tight-knit working-class family during Iraq’s seemingly endless series of wars. Faleeha Hassan became intimately acquainted with loss and fear while growing up in Najaf, Iraq. Now, in a deeply personal account of her life, she remembers those she has loved and lost. As a young woman, Faleeha hated seeing her father and brother go off to fight, and when she needed to reach them, she broke all the rules by traveling alone to the war’s front lines—just one of many shocking and moving examples of her resilient spirit. Later, after building a life in the US, she realizes that she will coexist with war for most of the years of her life and chooses to focus on education for herself and her children. In a world on fire, she finds courage, compassion, and a voice. A testament to endurance and a window into unique aspects of life in the Middle East, Faleeha’s memoir offers an intimate perspective on something wars can’t touch—the loving bonds of family.

30 review for War and Me

  1. 5 out of 5

    Olive Fellows (abookolive)

    In War and Me, the first memoir by poet Faleeha Hassan, popularly known worldwide (thanks to Oprah’s website) as the “Maya Angelou of Iraq,” the author describes a life in which war follows her like a shadow. Bloody armed conflicts led by former President Saddam Hussein and provoked by the Ba’athist regime; the devastating losses of family and friends; struggles within a society resistant to the idea of a woman having agency—these conflicts laid a devastating, yet fruitful foundation for Hassan’ In War and Me, the first memoir by poet Faleeha Hassan, popularly known worldwide (thanks to Oprah’s website) as the “Maya Angelou of Iraq,” the author describes a life in which war follows her like a shadow. Bloody armed conflicts led by former President Saddam Hussein and provoked by the Ba’athist regime; the devastating losses of family and friends; struggles within a society resistant to the idea of a woman having agency—these conflicts laid a devastating, yet fruitful foundation for Hassan’s work. Click here to keep reading my review in Words Without Borders.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Joy D

    Faleeha Hassan’s memoir about her life in Iraq, focusing on the war with Iran, Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship, the UN embargo, and the invasion of Iraq in 2003. It also tells of her personal story – how she became a teacher and poet, her marriage, children, and how she eventually left the country. There are many sad examples of life in a war zone. This book is extremely detailed. I think it could have been better edited (or perhaps it is a result of the translation to English). The writing is fin Faleeha Hassan’s memoir about her life in Iraq, focusing on the war with Iran, Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship, the UN embargo, and the invasion of Iraq in 2003. It also tells of her personal story – how she became a teacher and poet, her marriage, children, and how she eventually left the country. There are many sad examples of life in a war zone. This book is extremely detailed. I think it could have been better edited (or perhaps it is a result of the translation to English). The writing is fine but not stellar. However, I think these issues can easily be overlooked to concentrate on understanding what life was like for the people of Iraq during these times of turmoil and war. It is easy for other parts of the world to be attuned to the political issues and what is shown on television broadcasts, not realizing that there was a wide variety of opinions on how Hussein and the government were viewed by the population. There were many factions, and these are explained in this book. I found it extremely interesting. I think it will be eye-opening, especially for western readers. It reinforces how difficult life can be for women in this region. I always enjoy learning about our world and many different life experiences.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    TITLE: WAR AND ME AUTHOR: Faleeha Hassan PUB DATE: 08.01.2022 Now Available SYNOPSIS: Swipe Above Powerful Eye Opening Uplifting I was weary reading about war and the casualties of those who lived through the horrors. I knew that it would be difficult and maybe even triggering, but I am glad I did. I love reading nonfiction especially memoirs that shed light to many issues in very unique perspectives. I found the memoir interesting and hard to put down. I felt uplifted. In reading this memoir, I am TITLE: WAR AND ME AUTHOR: Faleeha Hassan PUB DATE: 08.01.2022 Now Available SYNOPSIS: Swipe Above Powerful Eye Opening Uplifting I was weary reading about war and the casualties of those who lived through the horrors. I knew that it would be difficult and maybe even triggering, but I am glad I did. I love reading nonfiction especially memoirs that shed light to many issues in very unique perspectives. I found the memoir interesting and hard to put down. I felt uplifted. In reading this memoir, I am changed - thank you to Faleeha Hassan for sharing her incredible story. It certainly has touched my life.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Scott J Pearson

    Iraq has encountered consistent upheaval for the past half-century. Most Americans know parts of that story from the news. What most Americans, like myself, don’t know is what that story looks like on the ground, in individual lives. They don’t appreciate how US policy has affected common life, mainly because they haven’t come into contact with an Iraqi. Instead, prejudice, bigotry, and/or cultural bias tends to fill that void. To address that problem, Hassan has written this memoir of her life. Iraq has encountered consistent upheaval for the past half-century. Most Americans know parts of that story from the news. What most Americans, like myself, don’t know is what that story looks like on the ground, in individual lives. They don’t appreciate how US policy has affected common life, mainly because they haven’t come into contact with an Iraqi. Instead, prejudice, bigotry, and/or cultural bias tends to fill that void. To address that problem, Hassan has written this memoir of her life. She is an accomplished writer in Arabic with academic credentials and many awards. As is obvious from her life story, a lack of cultural stability has negatively impacted her life. When combined with cultural misogyny, Hassan’s entrapment in an oppressed situation becomes clear. Most Americans, myself included, do not appreciate how the Iraqi wars, preceded by the Iran-Iraq war, have decimated the cultural fabric of Iraq. Historically, the Second Iraq War was followed by a nihilistic and destructive era in the country. Hassan’s account makes clear why this was so, instead of the renaissance of freedom that George W. Bush promised. Iraqi culture had already been oppressed by 25 prior years of military fighting and death. As documented here, Hassan’s never-ending quest to lead a decent life is laudable and poised to inspire any compassionate reader. It took about 100 pages to adjust to the style of Hutchins’ translation, from what I assume was originally in Arabic. However, I soon was enveloped into the narrative, and worries about style seemed to fade away, replaced by worries about Hassan’s well-being. This is a story of a human determined to overcome despite the worst that humanity has to offer. I found much to contemplate. The world has entered an era where refugees are becoming more common. Too many international crises leave individuals homeless and having to flee for their lives. How quickly we forget that white Europe encountered the same in 1945, less than a century ago! Hassan’s narrative shows exactly what some refugees have had to overcome. The lucky ones that are accepted into stable countries still have to encounter prejudice – just for being in a different religion, having a darker skin color, or being raised in a different part of the world. Overcoming this bigotry is something comfortable Americans (like me) can do something about. Hassan’s elegant telling of a horrific story is a way that I can appreciate these new neighbors and sometimes new Americans.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    The cover of this book immediately had my attention. It's absolutely gorgeous!! I was also pleasantly surprised when I removed the dust jacket. I have such a love for memoirs. When Over The River PR reached out to me to join the virtual book tour, I immediately said yes! There's just something about reading a true account of ones life. For me, a complete stranger, to have the opportunity to see inside the authors world. Truly fascinating. It took me awhile to get into War And Me. The second half The cover of this book immediately had my attention. It's absolutely gorgeous!! I was also pleasantly surprised when I removed the dust jacket. I have such a love for memoirs. When Over The River PR reached out to me to join the virtual book tour, I immediately said yes! There's just something about reading a true account of ones life. For me, a complete stranger, to have the opportunity to see inside the authors world. Truly fascinating. It took me awhile to get into War And Me. The second half of the book had my full attention. The pace really picks up and the events in Faleeha's life are truly heartbreaking. I felt so many emotions, though mostly anger. Many of the situations she endured were shocking. And while I understand that a memoir centered around a seemingly endless series of wars wouldn't be heartwarming, Faleeha's treatment in many accounts completely unrelated to war, broke my heart. I was absolutely amazed by Faleeha's resilience and strength. Through all the hardships she continued to push forward, to make a life for her and her children. I will be thinking about this memoir for a very long time.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Susie Dumond

    Growing up in '80s and '90s Iraq, Faleeha Hassan came of age surrounded by war and violence. Despite all the barriers standing in her way, she refused to give up on her education and passion for writing. In this memoir, Hassan shares her perspective of the Iraq War and her experiences as a woman poet and writer in Iraq. It's a powerful tale, and I appreciate how Hassan balanced personal aspects of her life with international politics. It definitely made me want to seek out more of her writing! Th Growing up in '80s and '90s Iraq, Faleeha Hassan came of age surrounded by war and violence. Despite all the barriers standing in her way, she refused to give up on her education and passion for writing. In this memoir, Hassan shares her perspective of the Iraq War and her experiences as a woman poet and writer in Iraq. It's a powerful tale, and I appreciate how Hassan balanced personal aspects of her life with international politics. It definitely made me want to seek out more of her writing! Thanks to the publisher for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    An interesting other view of the years of war in Iraq.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Betty Bennett

    A Must Read Story of Life in a Country at War The memoirs of an Iraqi poet. As a young woman who desired education,Faleeha Hassan had many obstacles to face. Her story of determined effort in spite of life's challenges is an inspiration to those who's fear of failure holds them back from pursuing their dreams. A Must Read Story of Life in a Country at War The memoirs of an Iraqi poet. As a young woman who desired education,Faleeha Hassan had many obstacles to face. Her story of determined effort in spite of life's challenges is an inspiration to those who's fear of failure holds them back from pursuing their dreams.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bob Miller

    Although I read the beginning three chapters and then only sampled most of the chapters, then read the final chapter, I was not impressed with this story. Yes, it was a memoir, so just a slice of the complete story, and in that regard I can only say that it was somewhat disjointed, even though the episodes do not tell, nor were they intended to tell, her life story, only the impact of war. Well, war is not good. Worse are the governments that are for the benefit of a minority, like the Baath par Although I read the beginning three chapters and then only sampled most of the chapters, then read the final chapter, I was not impressed with this story. Yes, it was a memoir, so just a slice of the complete story, and in that regard I can only say that it was somewhat disjointed, even though the episodes do not tell, nor were they intended to tell, her life story, only the impact of war. Well, war is not good. Worse are the governments that are for the benefit of a minority, like the Baath party, or just a dictator's friends. The conditions for most people as described in this story were deplorable. The education, the TV "news" programs and entertainment, seemed to be for the purpose of manipulating the population, not learning about the world, telling of newsworthy events or entertaining. Even the religious organizations appeared to be perverted, either by the government or by individuals benefiting from these conditions. The time as a refugee in Turkey was again not really to help the refugees, but to help those who arranged their exit from Iraq. Even in the USA, New Jersey, people seem manipulated into an unwarranted emotional response so that Faleeha's suffering continued. People need to be free in order to learn about the world, nature and society so they can control their government and remain free (or become free). When parents, small groups or society in general limit that freedom to think, these conditions result. Of course, there is always a possibility that individuals will independently come to conclusions that are against freedom. We can only hope that those people are a minority that never gains control over the rest of us. We must remain vigilant. We must be careful how we attempt to help those who are oppressed, lest we lose our freedom in the process of helping. In a way, the book does bring these issues up, but provides no short term solution, while the long term theme is education, independent thought and acceptance of differences.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nancy A Faussett

    I gave this a four star, not because it was well written (although that could be due to the translator) but because of the subject matter: a woman coming of age in Iraq.... a memoir

  11. 5 out of 5

    just.one.more.paige

    This review originally appeared on the book review blog: Just One More Pa(i)ge. Until about two months ago, neither Faleeha Hassan nor this book were anywhere on my radar. But a representative of the publisher (Amazon Crossing) reached out and asked if I was interested in receiving a copy in exchange for participating in a Blog Tour. I've gotten pretty picky about which of these requests I say yes to, because honestly there are just so many books I want to read that I have to ration my time. And This review originally appeared on the book review blog: Just One More Pa(i)ge. Until about two months ago, neither Faleeha Hassan nor this book were anywhere on my radar. But a representative of the publisher (Amazon Crossing) reached out and asked if I was interested in receiving a copy in exchange for participating in a Blog Tour. I've gotten pretty picky about which of these requests I say yes to, because honestly there are just so many books I want to read that I have to ration my time. And I am, for the most part, a reviews-centric blogger, so each book is a significant effort of time to read/write the review. But this one sounded really interesting and I was immediately interested in reading about the life of this female Iraqi poet - the first published female poet from her hometown. So I accepted. And now for the disclaimer: all the thoughts in this review are mine alone, in no way reflective of or influenced by the publisher. Hassan grew up in Najaf, Iraq, as part of a large, but close, working-class family. She was in middle school in 1980 when the Iran-Iraq War began, and she spent the rest of her time in Iraq (until she was forced to flee in 2011 after becoming a target on a militant group's death list for her writing) under the shadow of constant war. Despite this, all the terror and loss and tragedy that war entails on a day-to-day basis (and the compounding strain of its seemingly never-ending reailty), she continued to work towards her edicational and career goals, including earning a Masters in Arabic Literature and becoming a published poet. This memoir follows Hassan from her youth through starting her own family and ends with her arrival in the United States after her asylum application was approved. Let me start with the major issue I had while reading. I cannot write this review without addressing it, but I also want to get it out of the way and end with the positive, because there is a lot of it. It's just unfortunate that the big issue was such a pervasive one. I hate to say this, especially because I myself cannot speak/read Arabic well enough to translate it, but I really felt like this was an iffy translation. I know enough of the language to understand that this was likely quite poetic/flowery in the original language, but a lot of it seemed to have been translated too directly for that to carry over, and the phrasing often felt stilted and clumsy in English. And then, despite my wish (often) that the translator would used some more natural and flowing phrasing/language in English, the couple times he did try to add in colloquialisms felt poorly chosen and jarringly out of place (for example, when he used "any Tom, Dick or Harry"). Anyways, there is a chance that part of this was some immature/jumpy writing in the original, as Hassan's writing background is more short-form. But there are definitely elements of the awkward language that I feel confident come back to the translation. I want to make the point here that the content, Hassan's life, is still absolutely worth reading. It took me some time to get over some of the writing flow issues, but it is worth doing. Obviously, knowing the history that Hassan lived during, it should go without saying that there is *a lot* of trauma and triggering content here, so much (familial) death, violence and injury, missing/loss/unknown fates, domestic (emotional/psychological) abuse, and grief. Hassan does a lovely job presenting the events without holding back on the emotional and life impacts, while also not dramatizing anything. It's a lot to read, thematically, and it’s impossible to imagine and comprehend living it, but I am grateful for the opportunity to witness through Hassan's words. There were also many important points made about the politics surrounding everything that has happened to the Iraqi people in the last decades; the way the "normal" people suffered so much as a result of dictators and international (UN) sanctions alike - there was little day-to-day difference in the difficulties for people regardless of the source. An important point for all (western) readers to remember. I loved reading about Hassan's experience and process of writing and publishing her first collection of poetry, and the reception it received (based often on her gender and not the quality of the writing itself, though popular nonetheless). It was so interesting to see how the process worked, and where the strong support for her work was coming from. Relatedly, her family's and friend's support for her education across the board was such a highlight. Especially when put in such sharp relief to her experiences with her husband and mother-in-law, when that part of her life unfolds. Overall, this was a difficult but worthwhile read. It's hard to really conceptualize the everydayness of mortar fire in the streets, the way people go to work and children to school through it because that's just...life. It’s just nonsensical, what people are forced to endure, and thus adjust to enduring. And how Hassan managed to write and publish during it all, to chase her dreams and fight to protect and love her family despite everything, was a beautiful bright spot throughout it all. “I realized then that places retain no magic once they're stripped of the people associated with them.” “How can you say you live with your family if you lock yourself and your secrets away from them?” “Nothing around us grew and multiplied save fear…” “And if you wished to find some relief, you were forced to search for it. Otherwise, your only refuge was in a dream, which might drag you to destruction as you fell into the snares of thorny reality.” “Wars occasionally require very convincing, massive lies if we are to escape death, even if only temporarily.” “When the fire of war flares up, even if it suddenly subsides, that does not mean it has been extinguished - not even if it lies dormant for a long time. Instead, it means that any airborne spark can cause it to flare up again.”

  12. 4 out of 5

    Corby

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Got to 50% and I can't go on. I was really motivated for this book, chosen from one of Amazon Kindle's month reads, but the disjointed and overly-complex phrasing, lack of a clear flow of events to create the author's 'story,' and the middle-grade-level development of the events and people in the orbit of the author's life made it just too painful to continue. We have a childhood tragedy that never gets revisited or re-examined as the author ages; a wholly life-changing and family-changing exper Got to 50% and I can't go on. I was really motivated for this book, chosen from one of Amazon Kindle's month reads, but the disjointed and overly-complex phrasing, lack of a clear flow of events to create the author's 'story,' and the middle-grade-level development of the events and people in the orbit of the author's life made it just too painful to continue. We have a childhood tragedy that never gets revisited or re-examined as the author ages; a wholly life-changing and family-changing experience that is written as such for a few paragraphs, and then not re-examined or referenced as the family matures and their dynamics change. We have the ongoing resentment for an ill (in some vague, asthmatic way that appears to be more serious than asthma) mother that keeps having children in what becomes squalor during the rainy season; idolization of the father and his mother, who apparently somehow controlled the date of her death (unexplained); teaser paragraphs about specific siblings that then go several chapters with no named reference to their existence, as if they have a starring role in her childhood because she was responsible for raising them, but they truly end up as unnamed afterthoughts that only watch cartoons and answer the front door. Add to that some completely un-explained-in-the-government-of-the-time twist of fortune that allows the family to move to better quarters (but truly better? Fewer bedrooms for a big family), trite coverage of a Baath-party boss lady that asks too much of her employees and gets her comeuppance in the form of her son having an accident (unclear whether this is gloating at misfortune by the author or she thinks that the bad treatment she received led to son's accident?), and an odd reference to supernatural powers that has all the self-indulgence of a 10 year old playing with a Ouija board. Interspersed with the impact of historical events on the author were gratuitously-inserted odes to the author's writing prowess, under the guise of being praised as a child or young adult by different academic figures. Reference to "Tribes" start to be mentioned in Chapter 7 or so, with no context whatsoever about what that means in the situations the family is in or has been in as the author grew up. Maybe it was something about the translation, but the self-praise (alongside the -- secret, as only the boy's grandmother knew about the potential relationship, and we never heard about her again -- tale of a shallow crush developed during teenage flirtation that remained unrequited/undeveloped due to war, but was apparently devastating for about 3 paragraphs) didn't help develop the story of her journey nor have a whole lot of relevance to how the cultural environment got her to where she ended up. Overall, huge tragedy sits aside puerile self-indulgence, with no growth or introspection accompanying either type of event, and both types of event are treated equally in the grand scheme of the author's life. Having read all sorts of similar memoir and non-fiction writing about the middle east and its conflicts in the 1960's through 90's, I suppose I was expecting an adult take on the author's adolescent experiences, but what was actually written was in the voice of the adolescent. Perhaps if I could bring myself to read about Ms. Hassan's life in later adulthood, I would hear the voice of the adult I was expecting to tell me the story of what it was like to grow up under Saddam Hussein's Iraq, but I just can't continue because this is apparently not that book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Aimee Dars

    Thank you so much to @OTRPR and @AmazonPublishing for including me on the book tour for WAR AND ME: A MEMOIR by Faleeha Hassan (translated by William Hutchins) and for a gifted copy of the book. I’m especially excited to read this book during Women in Translation Month! The Iraq-Iran War lasted eight years, from 1980 to 1988. Just two years later, in August 1990, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. After the First Gulf War, the UN issued exacting sanctions on the country that lasted through the Second Thank you so much to @OTRPR and @AmazonPublishing for including me on the book tour for WAR AND ME: A MEMOIR by Faleeha Hassan (translated by William Hutchins) and for a gifted copy of the book. I’m especially excited to read this book during Women in Translation Month! The Iraq-Iran War lasted eight years, from 1980 to 1988. Just two years later, in August 1990, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. After the First Gulf War, the UN issued exacting sanctions on the country that lasted through the Second Gulf War (2003). Hassan, an acclaimed Iraqi poet, born in 1967, lyrically recounts living through this seemingly endless series of conflicts. How the fighting affected families and communities away from the front or unfortunately too close to urban combat is a strength of the book. Headstrong and determined, Hassan also traveled alone to the front—twice—once when the family hadn’t heard from her younger brother and once to get in touch with her father. The wars touched her in other ways, too, such as having to learn to shoot a gun at school, and memorizing the different codes of air raid sirens. But life doesn’t pause for war, and Hassan experiences her first love with such sweet and secretive communications, education, becoming the first in her family and tribe to become a teacher, going on to get an advanced degree. WAR AND ME is an affecting and powerful read that gave me insight into daily life in Iraq. Hassan’s writing is so honest and genuine, I felt transported by her descriptions. I also valued reading about different l traditions around death and grieving. It was also interesting to hear what it was like to live under Saddam Hussein’s regime. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys memoirs or reading about different cultures. It’s available now (publication date August 1, 2022).

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jolissa Skow

    My full review is published at https://literaryquicksand.com/2022/08... This story had me just rapt the whole time. I wasn’t prepared for just how harrowing Faleeha’s tale would be! We start in Faleeha’s childhood, and experience the onset of war with her. It’s just devastating, the toll it took very suddenly on life in her family, her school, and her community. And then? The war goes on, and on, and on, until she’s sure it just won’t ever end. So much happens to her family and her city in that ti My full review is published at https://literaryquicksand.com/2022/08... This story had me just rapt the whole time. I wasn’t prepared for just how harrowing Faleeha’s tale would be! We start in Faleeha’s childhood, and experience the onset of war with her. It’s just devastating, the toll it took very suddenly on life in her family, her school, and her community. And then? The war goes on, and on, and on, until she’s sure it just won’t ever end. So much happens to her family and her city in that time, and while they find a way to live in a way that’s fulfilling, it’s hard. Then, when the war is over, the embargo Iraq was put under by the US really made life hard. They didn’t have enough food, there was no money, and life was just hard…again. I won’t go through the author’s whole life here in this review – you’ll have to pick it up to find out what happens to her! I do have to take a moment to reflect on how beautiful her writing is. Even through translation, she writes with such passion and courage, and it’s so beautiful. It did take a little bit of time to get used to the translation, but then it just started to flow for me. She’s also a poet, which makes sense – you get some of that in the way she writes prose, too. I think I (and most of my fellow Americans probably) have no idea how the war impacted the people of Iraq. This was such an eye-opening book, and I was just astounded by the author’s bravery both in the way she lives her life and for writing this book with such an intimate look at that life. War and Me will go on my shelf of favorite books I’ve read so far this year.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Steve Schmitt

    Another book I never would have picked up if it hadn't been part of the Amazon First Reads program that was really great. As a part of the American military community we often hear the stories of what our troops faced while in Iraq. My wife has been their twice, but we rarely hear stories from the everyday residents of Iraq who have dealt with war almost their entire lives. The author is one such woman. She is just trying to live her life and war surrounds her on all sides. Perspective is defini Another book I never would have picked up if it hadn't been part of the Amazon First Reads program that was really great. As a part of the American military community we often hear the stories of what our troops faced while in Iraq. My wife has been their twice, but we rarely hear stories from the everyday residents of Iraq who have dealt with war almost their entire lives. The author is one such woman. She is just trying to live her life and war surrounds her on all sides. Perspective is definitely a gift when you can get more than one side. I applaud Ms. Hassan for telling her story. The book might be a little long and could use a little more fine comb type editing in my opinion but for the most part that didn't take away from the story even if it didn't add to it. I think the author wanted to make sure we understood the depth that the wars had on her, her family, her town, and her country. It affected every aspect of their lives. I lost 2 years with my wife. She lost several friends, family members and opportunities. Through that all she seems to blame all parties for the tragedies, Iraqi politicians to include Saddam Hussein, Iran, The United States and others. She gets that there is nuance and tries to be even keeled in her opinions while living through the tragedies. I respect that.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Maddie

    https://www.instagram.com/p/ChdALSmArAt/t https://www.instagram.com/p/CfHwnk8lHwR/ "War and Me", by Faleeha Hassan, translated from Arabic by William Hutchins, and published by Amazon Crossing, is a powerful memoir of a lifetime during war. Set in Iraq, and starting from her childhood, into her adulthood with children of her own, Faleeha Hassan recounts in detail how her life and that of her family was affected by the series of wars Iraq has been fighting since the 80s. The personal stories are in https://www.instagram.com/p/ChdALSmArAt/t https://www.instagram.com/p/CfHwnk8lHwR/ "War and Me", by Faleeha Hassan, translated from Arabic by William Hutchins, and published by Amazon Crossing, is a powerful memoir of a lifetime during war. Set in Iraq, and starting from her childhood, into her adulthood with children of her own, Faleeha Hassan recounts in detail how her life and that of her family was affected by the series of wars Iraq has been fighting since the 80s. The personal stories are intertwined with explanations of the political events of the time, much of which I was not familiar with. I found the memoir to be very interesting, and Faleeha Hassan to be a strong, inspirational woman. While Faleeha's life story was fascinating, I did find the pacing to be a little slow and the writing a bit too detailed. Still, Faleeha's resilience kept my interest throughout the whole book. I would recommend "War and Me" for fans of memoirs and readers who like to travel to different countries through their reading. Thank you to @Faleehahassan for sharing your story with us readers, William Hutchins for translating it and making it accessible to English readers, and thank you to @OTRPR and @AmazonPublishing for my gifted gorgeous review copy of "War and Me". All opinions are my own.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Venise Grossmann

    The cost of war becomes excruciatingly clear in Faleeha Hassan’s memoir War and Me. An Iraqi who lived in Najaf during the Iran-Iraq War, she and her family suffered greatly as her father and brother engaged in combat. Concerned for their safety, Hassan risked her life by traveling to the front lines to find news to provide solace for her distraught mother. While both men returned to their family, neither was able to adjust upon their return. The story addresses not only the ravaging effects of The cost of war becomes excruciatingly clear in Faleeha Hassan’s memoir War and Me. An Iraqi who lived in Najaf during the Iran-Iraq War, she and her family suffered greatly as her father and brother engaged in combat. Concerned for their safety, Hassan risked her life by traveling to the front lines to find news to provide solace for her distraught mother. While both men returned to their family, neither was able to adjust upon their return. The story addresses not only the ravaging effects of political warfare, but also reveals the private war that women must battle each day in a society dominated by men. Hassan’s plight was even more traumatic as she suffered the repercussions wrought from being the first published women’s poet in Najaf. In a country that only values the intellect of men, the master’s degree she earned in Arabic and her teaching career inspired further wrath from her husband. She was forced to flee the country due to threats made against her from her husband and the government. After living as a refugee in Turkey, she eventually found asylum in the United States. Sadly, she stills faces discrimination and endures the physical and psychological effects of trauma. This moving memoir reveals how Hassan’s faith sustained her, and her writing provided her with solace during these terrifying times.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jolanta

    I got a copy of this book through NegGalley in exchange for a review. War and Me, by Faleeha Hassan is a memoir of the author's growing up and living in Iraq nearly constantly torn by war starting with the Iraqi-Iran war in the 1980s. At times the language is beautiful and ornate and at times simple, sometimes too simple, so it reads a bit unevenly. I also wish there was a bit more explanation of the political situation, and dates, because I got confused sometimes as to when certain events were h I got a copy of this book through NegGalley in exchange for a review. War and Me, by Faleeha Hassan is a memoir of the author's growing up and living in Iraq nearly constantly torn by war starting with the Iraqi-Iran war in the 1980s. At times the language is beautiful and ornate and at times simple, sometimes too simple, so it reads a bit unevenly. I also wish there was a bit more explanation of the political situation, and dates, because I got confused sometimes as to when certain events were happening. I also had to look up modern history of Iraq, but I didn't mind that, because any book that makes me learn more is welcome. I also admired the author for her sheer courage and grit to just keep going. Faleeha Hassan is presumably well known in Iraq, as the first woman to publish a collection of poetry, and a couple of her poems that she included in the volume, and one that I could find in another source are beautiful. I've looked for translations of her poetry in English, but there is very little out there. I wish there was more, because I like it. I do recommend War and Me, especially if you want to learn what it was like living in Iraq for the civilians caught in the nearly constant conflicts. I hope Ms. Hassan and her children all the best living in NJ.

  19. 4 out of 5

    C A Gentle

    I got this book free as part of Amazon First Reads and chose it because I have read "I'm in Seattle where are you?" which is another memoir of living in Iraq before and during war, and translated by the same person. I thought it would be enlightening to read about a girl growing up and eventually becoming a married woman in this environment. I would say it is more like a 3.5 star book but as we can't give half stars I rounded it up to 4. I was a bit unsure at first as the first chapter or so sta I got this book free as part of Amazon First Reads and chose it because I have read "I'm in Seattle where are you?" which is another memoir of living in Iraq before and during war, and translated by the same person. I thought it would be enlightening to read about a girl growing up and eventually becoming a married woman in this environment. I would say it is more like a 3.5 star book but as we can't give half stars I rounded it up to 4. I was a bit unsure at first as the first chapter or so started off a bit "I did this, then I did this, and then I did that" which I hate about some memoirs, but this quickly settled into an interesting memoir, and so eye opening in how things unfolded, interactions between family and Faleeha's determination. I loved particularly reading about her father - I think I almost fell in love with him - how he treated his wife, children, made the best of everything and encouraged everyone - pragmatic and caring. Faleeha's life has not been easy but she always demanded to be treated with respect and to get her education and she achieved so much by her determination and actions. It is sad that almost her whole life has been impacted by war, and continues to be so, even after moving to a "safe" country twice.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Taylor Callicrate

    inspiring and informative Faleeha Hassan has gone through some truly horrible experiences, and yet she has remained grounded in her faith and continued to follow her dreams against severe difficulty and persecution. As she relates her story, she describes these difficult events in a way that the reader can empathize and gain some insight into what it was like to live in Iraq in those times, and she manages to do it without directing a lot of blame or sounding sorry for herself. It’s a difficult s inspiring and informative Faleeha Hassan has gone through some truly horrible experiences, and yet she has remained grounded in her faith and continued to follow her dreams against severe difficulty and persecution. As she relates her story, she describes these difficult events in a way that the reader can empathize and gain some insight into what it was like to live in Iraq in those times, and she manages to do it without directing a lot of blame or sounding sorry for herself. It’s a difficult story to read but worth the sorrow because of the inspiration to view other people as worthwhile just the way they are.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kc

    Perspective Helps Understand Ourselves For the topic, I would give this 5 stars. The perspective of woman trying to live in Iraq in the last 80s-00s is enlightening. As a world we do punish the people for the crimes of the leader and I don't if that is right or wrong but it does make it hard for the people. I was inspired by how the author keeps pushing and works towards her dreams even while her world is out of control. On the writing side - I have recommended this book to others with the caveat Perspective Helps Understand Ourselves For the topic, I would give this 5 stars. The perspective of woman trying to live in Iraq in the last 80s-00s is enlightening. As a world we do punish the people for the crimes of the leader and I don't if that is right or wrong but it does make it hard for the people. I was inspired by how the author keeps pushing and works towards her dreams even while her world is out of control. On the writing side - I have recommended this book to others with the caveat that it can fall into stream of consciousness and could have used some tighter editing. It is a slog to get through some of the anecdotes.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    The author tells her story of growing up in Iraq, including her living accommodations, schooling, and friends/family. A lot of the story is also about her arranged marriage and her pursuit of higher education. It takes a little bit for the story to reach the point where she is in the thick of the war, but it is worth the wait... a very interesting and heartbreaking story. She is a brave woman! I can't imagine living in her shoes. Some reviewers commented negatively on the translation of the stor The author tells her story of growing up in Iraq, including her living accommodations, schooling, and friends/family. A lot of the story is also about her arranged marriage and her pursuit of higher education. It takes a little bit for the story to reach the point where she is in the thick of the war, but it is worth the wait... a very interesting and heartbreaking story. She is a brave woman! I can't imagine living in her shoes. Some reviewers commented negatively on the translation of the story. Sure, some passages are a bit clunky, but knowing that this book is translated into English that didn't bother me at all.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Delphine Lucas

    Good memoir written by a creative courageous Iraqi woman. I know very little about Iraqi culture or what it is like to live for years in a place devastated by endless war. Except for war, my own life has parallels to hers in many ways, so I know how difficult it is to keep your spirit alive as it is crushed by terrible school principals, evil exes, crazy family issues. How difficult to live a creative life and raise children alone. I rooted for her all the way through the book and pray she finds Good memoir written by a creative courageous Iraqi woman. I know very little about Iraqi culture or what it is like to live for years in a place devastated by endless war. Except for war, my own life has parallels to hers in many ways, so I know how difficult it is to keep your spirit alive as it is crushed by terrible school principals, evil exes, crazy family issues. How difficult to live a creative life and raise children alone. I rooted for her all the way through the book and pray she finds peace, stability and friendship in America. Many blessings to her!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Rauber

    Memoir about the life of Faleeha Hassan, and how she was forced to grow up in a constant war environment in Iraq. From the 80s with the Iran-Iraq war, thru Desert Storm, and the American occupation in the 2000s. We don't commonly hear the stories of everyday Iraqis during this time, and that's what I enjoyed most about this book. Through all these hardships, Faleeha managed to get a Master's degree and become a teacher, writer, and poet. Some things in the book upset me, but I think that was jus Memoir about the life of Faleeha Hassan, and how she was forced to grow up in a constant war environment in Iraq. From the 80s with the Iran-Iraq war, thru Desert Storm, and the American occupation in the 2000s. We don't commonly hear the stories of everyday Iraqis during this time, and that's what I enjoyed most about this book. Through all these hardships, Faleeha managed to get a Master's degree and become a teacher, writer, and poet. Some things in the book upset me, but I think that was just a cultural thing. Overall, an entertaining memoir.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sabrina

    What a wonderful book to come across. I had not heard of Faleeha Hassan before reading this book but the editors comments intrigued me and I stepped out of my normal genre. What a reward it was to read her story. I wasn't prepared to see war from her perspective and it was emotional to learn about and understand how the impacts of US and UN policies truly introduce food insecurity and instability . . . against the backdrop of a country frozen, divided and a population fearing for their lives. Be What a wonderful book to come across. I had not heard of Faleeha Hassan before reading this book but the editors comments intrigued me and I stepped out of my normal genre. What a reward it was to read her story. I wasn't prepared to see war from her perspective and it was emotional to learn about and understand how the impacts of US and UN policies truly introduce food insecurity and instability . . . against the backdrop of a country frozen, divided and a population fearing for their lives. Beautifully written and translated. I felt a little let down with the ending but overall the story is one that many should read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sunflower

    Read it to the end At first I really didn't like this book. I just wasn't into it. I didn't like the writing style. But I always read a book to the end. And I was glad I did. I never really understood the war in Iraq, but this one explained the horrors of war especially for woman who had little support in family or marriage. It's a book you will think about long after you read the last paragraph. Read it to the end At first I really didn't like this book. I just wasn't into it. I didn't like the writing style. But I always read a book to the end. And I was glad I did. I never really understood the war in Iraq, but this one explained the horrors of war especially for woman who had little support in family or marriage. It's a book you will think about long after you read the last paragraph.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michael Charles Yett

    Sometimes you need to get the perspective of someone who has lived through something. Each page of this book reminded me that there is another world out there and oftentimes it's not like the one that I live in or have been brought up in. The author places her stories and timeline events in a way that it makes history come alive. I once again reiterate it's nice to see this history from another perspective and she truly brought my senses to that world. Nice read. Sometimes you need to get the perspective of someone who has lived through something. Each page of this book reminded me that there is another world out there and oftentimes it's not like the one that I live in or have been brought up in. The author places her stories and timeline events in a way that it makes history come alive. I once again reiterate it's nice to see this history from another perspective and she truly brought my senses to that world. Nice read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Anna M Leuenberger

    slow start but worth the read At first I was not sure I would finish this book due to the lengthy transcribed prayers which did not interest me but the story of this woman’s life is heartbreaking. That an educated successful woman could be forced by her culture to endure such an awful arrangement is entirely shocking to our western ways. I admire her perseverance and courage. So glad she is now safely here and an asset to our country. God bless her.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Stewart

    Maybe 3.5 I liked the book because I was reading about someone’s life completely different than mine. I really felt empathy for this authors hardships in life and then the inner strength to survive it. The book follows a timeline but then there are randomly thrown in blurbs that seem out of place or oddly worded. Might have been the translation. All in all I appreciated learning about her life and also realize how grateful I am to live where I do.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mary Robideaux

    It takes personal stories to put a face on the reality of war. Hassan does that with her story of living in Iraq during a 25-year span of constant war. At a time when she should have been enjoying her teens and early adulthood, she is faced with dire needs for survival and disruption in her culture. The politics of war were not important to most Iraqis... only the need to adapt to their consequences.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.