Saddam City

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Saqi, 2004 - Literary Collections - 130 pages
2 Reviews
Exposes the secret workings of Saddam Hussein's brutal police state from within Based on the true experience of one man's brutal interrogation, incarceration, and separation from his family

One morning Mustafa Ali Noman, a teacher in Baghdad, is arrested as he reaches the school gates. For the next 15 months he is brutally interrogated, moved from prison to prison and barred from contacting his family; he witnesses countless scenes of torture. It becomes clear to Mustafa along his journey through the desert gulags that the question of guilt or innocence is irrelevant ...

'How do I know that I am not dreaming this?' he asks, as, under intolerable pressure, his grasp of reality begins to weaken.

Mahmoud Saeed's devastating novel evokes the works of Kafka, Solzhenitsyn and Elie Wiesel. It is a vivid account of the wanton and brutal treatment of the Iraqi people by Saddam Hussein's feared secret police and of the arbitrariness of life under tyranny.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - eness - LibraryThing

Excellent. I also read Mahmoud Saeed's original book in Arabic from which this translation has come from, and it's even better. The translation does NOT do it justice, but the reader can still see the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - GlebtheDancer - LibraryThing

Saddam City is a slim but powerful work. Set in 1979, it follows the bewildering journey of Mustafa Ali Noman through Iraq's Saddam-era jail system. Noman (the name is intentionally informative) is ... Read full review


On a Day like This
Baghdad Belly of the Beast
Transition to Mosul

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About the author (2004)

Mahmoud Saeed was born in Mosul, Iraq, in 1938. In 1963 he was imprisoned on political charges for a year, to be followed by three years of suspension from employment. The detentions continued until his sixth and final incarceration in 1980. In 1985 Saeed emigrated to the United Arab Emirates, and since 1999 he has been a political refugee in the USA. He has published nine books in Arabic and received many literary awards.

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