The Way to Baghdad: Day 18 of the War
When Zaid Mahir says goodbye to his elderly father, he knows that the journey from Samarra to Baghdad will be difficult. Even so, staying put never enters Zaid's mind. He must get back to his wife and fifteen-month-old daughter. What should be a fairly quick journey, however, turns into an eight-hour ordeal fraught with danger; now, in this memoir, he shares the true story of that trip.As Zaid travels a familiar route, he reminisces about the history of Iraq and the comforts he normally enjoys. But his succession of memories, cast against the backdrop of a serene countryside, is interrupted when he's challenged by American troops that have occupied the highway. Baghdad is still twenty kilometers away.Now part of a group of stranded Iraqis, he manages to communicate well enough in English to convince the soldiers he should be allowed to continue his journey. Though danger looms, the memory of his daughter's recent birthday and a desire to see his wife drive him to leave the besieged area to find a path that will lead to a ghostly city waiting for redemption in the dark.
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