In September 2002, a young Iraqi calling himself 'Salam Pax' began posting accounts of everyday life in Baghdad onto the internet.
Written in English, these bulletins contained everything from reviews of the latest CDs, to descriptions of Saddam's brutality.
In writing this web diary, Salam took a huge risk. Had he been caught criticizing Saddam on his web site, it would have cost him his life. Salam Pax's incisive and dryly funny articles soon attracted a massive worldwide readership.
In the months that followed, as an American-led force gathered to destroy the Iraqi regime, his diary became a unique record of the resentment, amusement and terror felt by an ordinary man living through the final days of a long dictatorship, and the chaos that followed its destruction. This book collects together Salam Pax's writings to tell the story of the war in Iraq from inside that besieged country.
It provides a uniquely gripping perspective on the conflict and its aftermath.
It is a remarkable document.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 176 pages, map
- Publisher: Atlantic Books
- Publication Date: 05/09/2003
- Category: Literary essays
- ISBN: 9781843542629
Showing 1 - 1 of 1 reviews.
Review by sunnycouger
This was an interesting book. I think when I think of the blogs I frequent they tend to be on the more flippant variety of celebrity or fashion variety so it's good to have a reminder sometimes what type of less frivolous things can get be conveyed with the medium. Salam Pax was an internet blogger who became famous due to his input on his blog about Iraq pre, during and post the invasion. He's a 180 from what most people would think of the stereotypical Iraqi - for one he drops the names of 'Western' music into his blogs and in every regard he is a guy you could find anywhere in the world. It's not something you see portrayed very often.<br/><br/>The book was interesting purely from a sociological standpoint as you see how the knowledge that your country is going to be bombed at any moment and how that affects your everyday life and, more bizarrely how it doesn't affect your life. There are some dark moments stated in passing about seeing a man on the street without a leg after the grenade he was carrying went off, or how someone couldn't go out because there was part of a dead person on their lawn but these are balanced by lighter moments as well.<br/><br/>In my opinion it's not great but it's insightful and it's a wonderful thing to see how the world has moved on where, even in the middle of a warzone, we can still get internet coverage of what's going on. A blurb on the front cover says that it's similar to Anne Frank - I don't agree with it. With Anne Frank's diary we had an emotional connection with her and it was the little details - the complaining, the angst, the spoiled tantrums that we were never meant to see because they were in her diary that made her story so heartbreaking. Pax admits that people reading his blog, designed for public consumption, don't really know him - they see the side of him that he wants to portray and that's fine. Maybe that's the modernity of things - more facts, more access but less emotive.<br/><br/>