‘A dagger in my heart’

Dear Mira,

I received my book from Amazon today: what a precious thing in my hand. Page 205 made me cry: Violette’s words – ‘Our Baghdad, my Baghdad, is gone forever’ – were a dagger in my heart. It is as if she is describing my feeling of suffering, from the start of the sectarian violence until now. How sad it is to be forced to witness the rape of your own homeland… and your memories.

Thank you so much,

Amal Al-Jubouri


About our correspondent (from her Diwan Al Masar website):

Amal Al-Jubouri was born in Baghdad in 1967. After studying English Literature at the University of Baghdad she first worked as a journalist and translator. In 1989 she then established her own publishing house which has now moved to Beirut. In 1997 she emigrated from Iraq to exile in Germany where she founded the literary magazine “Diwan” in 2001 and a year later the cultural association West-Östlicher Diwan e.V., working together with Adonis, Hans Magnus Enzensberger and Joachim Sartorius. In 2004 she returned to her home country as one of the first Iraqi intellecutals and opened a house for literature and translation which became the first German-Arab cultural center in Baghdad. Her own poetry has been translated into 12 languages. She published five collections of poems and won several literary prizes. Amal Al-Jubouri is the chairman of the Commission for Peace of the Iraqi section of the International PEN.