It Takes More Courage to be a Mother in Iraq than a War Correspondent

When a war correspondent reflects on their time spent reporting in Iraq, it’s usually the same story: a few harrowing stories from a few days or weeks spent riding with a unit in Baghdad or somewhere nearby. When the history of Iraq is evoked at all, it is a history that begins in 2003. Jane Arraf is an exception. In the years leading up to the 2003 invasion she was the only Western reporter stationed in Iraq. She worked for CNN and lived in a hotel on the Tigris. Eventually, she moved into a house. She knows Baghdad like no other Western journalist, which is why her reflection piece in the Christian Science Monitor is a must read.

In My Iraq: a reporter’s 20-year retrospective, Arraf has the good sense to bury the harrowing war correspondent stories–and she has her share–in favor of the stories and voices of the Iraqis she came to know over the years. And quoting a particularly courageous Iraqi journalist who happens to be a woman and a mother, Arraf shares a truth that should be printed on the back of every war reporter’s Iraq book: “It takes more courage to be a mother in Iraq than a war correspondent.”

Source: Christian Science Monitor

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