This recommended reading shelf presents texts and films that showcase Iraq's history, culture, and politics. The book display is meant to accompany a photographic exhibition featuring the work of photographer, poet, journalist, and Master of Arts in Arab Studies student Nabil Salih marking 20 years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003. We encourage readers to visit the exhibition A Requiem for Baghdad: Postcards from a Crime Scene in the Gelardin Gallery on the 1st floor of Lauinger Library on display between March and June 2023. Nabil's photographs are accompanied by an interview about the exhibition.
Nabil, alongside Middle East Studies Librarian Ryan Zohar, compiled a list of books on Iraq that will be displayed to coincide with the exhibition. Many of the works discuss the U.S. invasion and events leading up to it but we wanted to move beyond a focus on Iraq as a locus for death and destruction as well. The display is an invitation for students and educators alike to sift through the pages and learn not only of Iraq’s history and politics, but its rich literature, art, and even photography. Among the works included are works of Iraqi poet, novelist, and scholar Sinan Antoon, Hanna Batatu’s book on the history of modern Iraq, Nesma Shubber’s new book on Iraqi artist Suad al-Attar, the poetry of Saadi Youssef, and Latif al-Ani’s photography.
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