Nineteen-year-old Thura al-Windawi kept a diary during the conflict in Iraq, saying that it was her way of "controlling the chaos." The diary, which documents the days leading up to the bombings, the war itself, and the lawless aftermath, puts a personal face on life in Baghdad. As Thura describes her life and that of her two younger sisters, she shows readers the many small details that illuminate the reality of war for Iraqi families, and especially for Iraqi children. Reminiscent of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl and the recent national bestseller Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Sarajevo, Thura's Diary gives the perspective of a young woman caught in the midst of a turbulent time and puts a face, a name, and a voice to the word "Iraqi."In the middle of the night we were thrown out of our beds by some massive explosions,� described Thura in her diary. Thura al-Windawi was nineteen years old when the war in Iraq began. That was also the time when she started a diary, which was later published into a book. In the process it was translated into English by Robin Bray.
As I read her diary, I was surprised by how similar Thura“s life in Iraq is to my life in America. We both watch television and use the computer, we both are in school, and we both have a passion for writing. At nineteen, Thura is the eldest of three girls. Although I only have one sibling, at thirteen Im also the oldest child in my family. Our parents are similar in many ways too. Like my parents, Thuras mother and father are well educated and value education for their children.
Although we have commonalities, we have differences, too. When Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq, Thura didnt have access to a large range of media, while I have an abundance to choose from: television, the Internet, books, magazines, and newspapers. As an American, I am allowed more freedom than Thura was allowed in Iraq. Thura states in her diary that “men are in charge of everything,” whereas in the United States...
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