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The Baghdad Clock (English)

By: | posted on: Oct 21, 2019

Date(s) - 10/21/2019
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

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Georgetown University


Contact Person:
Maddie Fisher

Georgetown University Center for Contemporary Arab Studies

CCAS presents a book talk about the novel, “The Baghdad Clock” in Arabic with author Shahad Al Rawi and translator Luke Leafgren.

About the Book

It’s 1991 and the Gulf War is raging. Two girls, hiding in an air-raid shelter, tell stories to keep the fear and the darkness at bay, and a deep friendship is born. And while the city collapses around them, the sanctions bite and friends begin to flee, life goes on. People tend their gardens, go dancing and celebrate weddings, and the girls share their dreams, desires, school routines and first loves.

In her brilliant debut novel, Shahad Al Rawi takes readers beyond the familiar images in the news to show the everyday struggle of Baghdad’s people, revealing the reality of growing up in a war-torn city that’s slowly disappearing in front of your eyes. The novel was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2018.

About the Author and Translator

Shahad Al Rawi was born in Baghdad in 1986. She is a writer and novelist. Her first novel The Baghdad Clock went through three printings in the first months of publication. She is currently completing a Ph.D. in Anthropology in Dubai.

Luke Leafgren received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Harvard University in 2012, after taking BA degrees in English and theology from Columbia University and the University of Oxford. He has translated several Arabic novels into English and teaches Arabic at the University of Harvard, where he also serves as assistant dean of Harvard College. He is an avid sailor and designed the StandStand portable standing desk.

This event will be conducted partially in Arabic with English translation. A similar event will take place in the afternoon at CCAS beginning at 12:30 pm completely in Arabic. Please direct any questions or requests for accommodation to CCAS Events Coordinator, Maddie Fisher, at

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