“L’Iraq contemporaneo” edited by Riccardo Redaelli

This article is also available in: Italiano

“L’Iraq contemporaneo” is an extremely complete choral essay on the history and culture of this country, allowing us to really analyze and discover it in detail

L’Iraq contemporaneo

Twenty years after the disastrous Anglo-American invasion of 2003, Iraq still appears as an incomplete puzzle: a state torn by deep ethnic-sectarian divisions and plagued by chronic political instability that fuels corruption and personal rivalries. Its fragility has also made it an ideal battleground for regional powers that are vying for geopolitical primacy in the Middle East. Iraq is now the shadow of that ambitious state, created by Great Britain after the end of the First World War on the “land of two rivers”, which for decades represented a point of reference for the Arab world.

Frankenstein in Baghdad

The interpretative prisms through which to observe the country, however, cannot be only those of state weakness and security dynamics. The often dramatic events, the peculiar identities and the multiple artistic expressions of the communities that inhabit these lands give us back a rich and heterogeneous scenario, worthy of being told, read and explored. Moving from a historical, socio-political and cultural perspective, the volume tries, chapter after chapter, to piece together the many pieces, to answer complex questions, offering an unprecedented and multifaceted image of Iraq.

One book, many souls, many Iraqs

The characteristic that I most appreciated of “Contemporary Iraq” is that of being a choral essay, the result of a collaboration of 15 different academics, each of whom is able to best tell an aspect or a characteristic of a place as incredible as it is unfortunate . I find that this choice, especially for a country so varied and internally divided, is really spot on, as we will not limit ourselves only to the mere chronicle of its history (very important in any case), but we will also have the opportunity to explore issues that will help us to better understand its inhabitants. In fact, we will also come into contact with its cultural, literary and artistic history, as well as with the millenary communities that populate it, some of which, like the Assyrian one, date back to times that seem to us by now forgotten.

L'Iraq contemporaneo

The different voices will also help us better understand the wishes of the latter, discovering that, contrary to what is often told, not everyone wants a sectarian and divided Iraq, but there are more and more voices which, while respecting diversity, they dream of a country with a unique soul and one that knows how to overcome internal tensions. An essay with a very pleasant reading, a text that, in just 250 pages, will be able to give you the most complete image possible about contemporary Iraq, including the challenges and problems it faces every day, going beyond the logic that sees as the mere assemblage of Baghdad, Mosul and Basra.

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