Book: Little Baghdad: A Memoir About an Endangered People in an American City
Author: Weam Namou
Genre: Biographies, memoirs
Review copy: Reedsy Discovery
Available at: Amazon.in
Recommended: Must Read
A fascinating read for those who want to know the history of the struggles in our world and about the life of refugees from Iraq.
Writing a memoir is a manifestation of bravery, for one must dig into the deepest crevices and corners of memory to tell an astounding story. Little Baghdad by Weam Namou is one such brilliant effort as it fills the pages with a kaleidoscopic memory scape that is endearing and poignant.
Weam delves into the lesser-known documented history and experiences of the Chaldean Christians from Iraq, who settled in the state of Michigan in the United States. The pages carry the longing and the travails of all who must leave their homeland to seek refuge in distant pastures. The amalgamation and assimilation into a new world is a long and adventurous journey peppered with stories – sweet and bitter.
Little Baghdad is not just a glimpse of the life of settlers from another part of the globe in Michigan, it is also a historical note on the city of Detroit. There is a glimpse of the culture of the Native Red Indians and how they slowly embrace modernity. In the reflections of loss and hope, a young wife, mother, sibling, and caretaker for an aging parent weaves in her professional quest.
Amidst political turmoil and a growing divide based on religion and community, our author, a feminist and flag-bearer of justice, is often disheartened, yet she gains strength in her artistic explorations. Part 2 of the book is a tender testimony of the love that only a child can feel for parents who devoted their lives to finding another haven for their children. It is, then, the sweet burden of the children to do their best to create something worthwhile for the next generation. It’s not an effortless task when time has changed the landscape and people have drifted apart. “Things don’t die, they become shells. Life then continues in different ways.”
From anecdotes related to writing a book or creating a home production to deciphering ancient scriptures and culture, or talking about a quiet evening with the family and its pet, the narration is brimming with memories. The reader can only imagine the writer’s nostalgia as she brings out precious and delicate recollections on paper. The book is bound to touch and inspire the reader in more ways than one as it meanders down memory lane. It would be a treat to see a web series on the vibrant ethnic communities that are documented in this book.