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Martha Stevens-David Book Review: "The Orange Trees of Baghdad" by Leilah Nadir
By Martha Stevens-David
Mar 28, 2015 - 12:07:13 AM

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"The Orange Trees of Baghdad: In Search of My Lost Family" by Leilah Nadir was a difficult read in the beginning because it intimately revealed the heartbreak and sorrow that not only a nation has had to endure but its people as well.

Leilah Nadir leads the reader through the history of Iraq since the beginning of time to the present day and her words are both powerful and enlightening. She has a "way with words" that makes the reader want to join in her struggle and search for her family and the truth.

It is even sadder to note that in this year of 2015, Iraq and its quest for freedom and acknowledgement by the rest of our world, still has a long fight ahead.

As a "native" born American, I find that we "Americans" with only having experienced the evils that war brings to one's birth country, in our "Civil War" and the "American & Indian War", we really have no perception of what "war" really means.

When one has survived the invasion of one's country, the bombing in a nightly regimen and the loss of everything and everyone meaningful in one's life, then perhaps we will understand what "war" really is.

Will the people of Leilah's country ever be "free", one can certainly hope and pray that they will, but only God knows.

Will I recommend this book to others? YES

Martha Stevens-David.
Martha Stevens-David Column Magic City

Leilah Nadir has a Master's degree in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh and a joint Honours degree from McGill University in English Literature and History. Her fiction has appeared in Descant and on CBC radio. She has written and broadcast commentaries for the CBC, The Globe and Mail, The Georgia Straight, Brick and the anthology, How They See US: Meditations on America, edited by James Atlas. She has travelled extensively in the Middle East, but has never been to Iraq.

"The Orange Trees of Baghdad: In Search of My Lost Family" [Red Leaf Books] is available via all major online and brick-and-mortar book retailers in paperback and e-book formats as of July 2014. Website:

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