The Flying Carpet to Baghdad: One Womans Fight for Two Orphans of War


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In tears, she promised Zahra would be saved: a rash commitment, perhaps, 'but at last I had found a child who needed me'. While Baghdad collapsed into anarchy, Jaber mobilised the full resources of her newspaper for the task of keeping Zahra alive. Out of the blue, an 'angel of mercy' materialised in the person of Marla Ruzicka, an American who deployed her formidable charm and energy to save innocent victims of the war.

Pulling strings furiously, she got Zahra into a U. But there are few happy endings in Baghdad: despite the efforts of a dedicated army doctor, Zahra succumbed to her terrible injuries. Later, the inspirational Marla was killed in a suicide bombing.

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As Iraq slid into an orgy of sectarian violence, Jaber lost touch with the grandmother and Hawra. Haunted by the fear that they might blame her for abandoning them, she buried herself in work, volunteering for such high-risk assignments as the ferocious battle for Fallujah. Finally, though, she decided to face those demons and arranged a reunion.

This time, she was careful not to make promises she couldn't keep though she and her husband had talked about adopting the surviving sister. At the end of their emotionally charged meeting, she and the grandmother fell into each other's arms, weeping helplessly.

The Flying Carpet to Baghdad: One Woman's Fight for Two Orphans of War - Hala Jaber - Google Books

Far from the usual gung-ho memoirs by war correspondents, this is a heart-rending and highly personal story by an incredibly brave woman -- Christina Lamb, author of The Africa House and The Sewing Circles of Herat nothing I have read compares to Hala Jaber's mesmerising account of how her longing for a baby drew her into an intense, often agonising, involvement with two little Iraqi sisters orphaned by a U. Hala Jaber was born in West Africa and grew up in the Lebanon, where her family still lives. She began her journalistic career in the Press Association Bureau in Beirut.


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She lives in London. Zahra, aged 3, and Hawra, just a few months old were the only survivors of a missile strike in Baghdad in Their parents and their five siblings all died. Unable to have children herself, Hala Jaber, an award-winning foreign correspondent, was determined to do all she could to help them.

Hala Jaber

Sent to Iraq by the Sunday Times to cover the war, the last thing she expected was to find herself trying to save two little girls who had lost everything. But what happened next tells us far more about that conflict than any news bulletin ever could.


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  • Being a Lebanese Muslim, as well as the employee of a London paper, Hala is in the privileged position of being able to straddle two very different worlds and explain one to the other, and her beautifully written and deeply moving account affords a genuinely fresh insight into the Iraq war and its terrible human cost. Read more Read less. Shanaz Khari. In Praise of Hatred. Khaled Khalifa. Playing Cards In Cairo.

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      The Flying Carpet to Baghdad: One Womans Fight for Two Orphans of War The Flying Carpet to Baghdad: One Womans Fight for Two Orphans of War
      The Flying Carpet to Baghdad: One Womans Fight for Two Orphans of War The Flying Carpet to Baghdad: One Womans Fight for Two Orphans of War
      The Flying Carpet to Baghdad: One Womans Fight for Two Orphans of War The Flying Carpet to Baghdad: One Womans Fight for Two Orphans of War
      The Flying Carpet to Baghdad: One Womans Fight for Two Orphans of War The Flying Carpet to Baghdad: One Womans Fight for Two Orphans of War
      The Flying Carpet to Baghdad: One Womans Fight for Two Orphans of War The Flying Carpet to Baghdad: One Womans Fight for Two Orphans of War
      The Flying Carpet to Baghdad: One Womans Fight for Two Orphans of War The Flying Carpet to Baghdad: One Womans Fight for Two Orphans of War
      The Flying Carpet to Baghdad: One Womans Fight for Two Orphans of War The Flying Carpet to Baghdad: One Womans Fight for Two Orphans of War

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