The current issue of the well-respected Edinburgh Review, 127, is focused on Iraq. There’s poetry by Saadi Youssef and others, well, unknown to me, as well as photographs, fiction, and interviews.
On the website, they have an interview with author-translator Hussain al-Mozany, an Iraqi who currently writes in German.
A brief excerpt:
What happened to the books you left behind in Iraq?
My mother feared that the police would come and find my ‘forbidden’ books – and so she burned every book I possessed. I remember the day before I left my grandmother telling me that she couldn’t bear the thought of losing me. I said to her, it’s just one person you’re losing but I’m losing everyone, my family and all my friends. I didn’t go back to Iraq again until after Saddam Hussein had fallen. That was twenty-seven years later, by which time my grandmother was ninety-six. She asked, ‘Do you remember what I said to you when you left? How I couldn’t bear to lose you?’ The sense of loss had endured for both of us through all these years.