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Barbara Nimri Aziz Book Release "Swimming Up the Tigris, Real Life Encounters with Iraq"

posted on: Nov 7, 2008


Based upon two decades of courageous
and dangerous reporting out of Iraq, Barbara Nimri Aziz has carefully constructed a devastating human account of the genocidal impact that the 12 year long economic sanctions regime exerted upon the innocent people of that country. Her searing personal portraits must be added to the cold statistics of about 1.5 million Iraqis silently exterminated by the U.S., the U.K. and the U.N. during this period.”—
Francis A. Boyle, author of Destroying
World Order: U.S. Imperialism in the
Middle East Before and After September
11th and Biowarfare and Terrorism.

“Aziz’s book is informative, empathetic,
and eye-opening. This gripping story about the embargo war on Iraqi peoples and culture is critical to understanding how American foreign policy erases historyand the collective memory of both Iraqis and Americans.”—Laura Nader, professor of anthropology,
University of California, Berkeley.

“This is a book filled with people who
speak intimately with candor, admirable
patience, understandable outrage and, all
too often, the conviction born of sheer
suffering. Profoundly humane, it does
much to help those of us outside Iraq to
better understand the full range of
experiences in that embattled country, on
its own terms.”—Dick Doughty, author
of Gaza: Legacy of Occupation.

“Aziz’s book fills a hole in the literature
on the Middle East principally for two
reasons. Its view is dramatically at odds
with that of the mainstream Western
media and it combines the perspectives
of a trained anthropologist, a seasoned
journalistic observer of the region, and
above all, that of a caring human
being.”—John Meisel, Sir Edward
Peacock Professor of Political Science
Emeritus, Queen’s University.

“Few could encapsulate, as Barbara
Nimri Aziz has done, the spirit, laughter,
courage, and tears of the people of this
extraordinary, complex land, where
civilization flourished before Mohammed
or Christ walked the earth. Every
American and British politician should
read this book and sink to their knees in
shame.”—Felicity Arbuthnot, journalist,
broadcaster, and senior researcher for
John Pilger’s award-winning documentary
“Paying the Price: Killing the Children of Iraq.”

“This first-hand account of the effects of
sanctions on the Iraqi people is rich in
description and provides a much-needed
human perspective on the beleaguered
Iraqi people.”—Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban,
Rhode Island College.

“Captures the depth of Iraqi suffering
under the impact of the inhuman
sanctions and wars like no other book
has.”—Naseer H. Aruri, University of
Massachusetts, Dartmouth.

As Americans went about their daily lives in
the 1990s, few could imagine what Iraqi men
and women faced under the brutal sanctions
imposed by the UN and enforced by the
United States.

Barbara Nimri Aziz, a frequent visitor to Iraq, saw first-hand what life was like for Iraqis during the long years of the embargo. Swimming Up the Tigris reveals Aziz’s skill as both a journalist and an anthropologist. In the book, she allows ordinary Iraqis to speak directly to us.

We learn of the breakdown of Iraq’s once exemplary medical system, and of needless deaths as a result of poor healthcare. We hear of deprivations, aerial bombardments, and local efforts to fight an embargo viewed by many as unjust. Drawing on intimate sources inside Iraq, the author reveals disparities
between news reports of unfolding events and
what Iraqi men and women were actually
experiencing in the months preceding the U.S.-
led invasion in 2003.

By revisiting this critical period, Aziz sheds
light on the illegal and questionable tactics
used by the United States to destroy Iraq
through the sanctions, well before the WMD
ruse, and provides context to more fully
understand the current failed occupation and
worldwide anti-U.S. sentiments.

Barbara Nimri Aziz is a freelance journalist
with a Ph.D. in social anthropology from the
University of London. She is a Fulbright
Scholar for 2007–08 and the producer and host
of “Tahrir: Voices of the Arab World” on
Pacifica WBAI Radio, New York.