A Stranger in Your Own City: Travels in the Middle East’s Long War

Book “A Stranger in Your Own City” by Ghaith Abdul-Ahad — March 2, 2023

Book formats

  • Hardcover No offers

Book short specifications

Hutchinson Heinemann
Release date
March 2, 2023
Publisher's website


This is not a book about Iraq's history, nor an inventory of the many Middle Eastern wars that have spun out over the past twenty years, though both wars and history are part of its narrative, from the American invasion to the Arab Spring, ISIS and beyond. This is the story of a people who once lived under the rule of a megalomaniac leader who shaped the state in his own image. Then one day, after yet another war, a foreign army invaded, toppled the leader, destroyed the state, and proceeded to invent a new country. This is the story of a people who watched with horror as their world fragmented into a hundred different cities, as walls rose between them and bodies piled in the streets. It offers a remarkable de-centring of the West in the history and contemporary situation of the region — the motivation, needs and ideologies of Western powers are all dealt with sparingly, dismissively, even. What comes to the fore is the effect on the ground: the human cost, the shifting allegiances, and the generational change. The result is a rare work of great beauty and tragedy, whose power and relevance lies in the return of twenty years of war to those whose land it really is.

Popular shops