Dr Ziad Mouna of Cadmus Press just sent me some information in Arabic about a new book of short stories that Cadmus is publishing by an Iraqi writer, Kulshan al-Bayati. The book’s title translates as “Ravings Under Occupation.”
Here’s a translation of the book’s back cover into English:
Occupation is an ugly crime that pushes a person to madness, ravings, and chatter; one is transformed by it into otherness, into a different being.
Under occupation, people rave in an unnatural way, chatter unnaturally, and behave differently, expressing their rejection of the invasion and its inhuman, immoral outcomes.
When Baghdad fell under invasion, Baghdad itself raved, its people raved as had never before been seen in the history of mental illnesses that have afflicted them…
Ravings Under Occupation is a literary work that brings together a collection of the ravings of people both aware and unaware. They rave under the effect of the occupation: ravings of the Iraqi resistance fighter who fights the occupation to the teeth; ravings of the lowliest agent who despises himself; ravings of those who were murdered mistakenly; ravings of women mourning the loss of their children and husbands; ravings of a poet who lost his verse; ravings of the lovers whose right to love in their homeland was crucified; ravings of the chief coroner in Baghdad who cannot halt the dead piling up in morgue refrigerators; ravings of the killed and the killers; ravings of the martyrs before their lord; ravings of the Caliphs of Baghdad and their women, one after the other; ravings of her [Baghdad’s] scholars and intellectuals; ravings of her idiots and simpletons.
They rave before the mirror, through the internet, before the concrete barriers and walls that fill Baghdad’s streets and roads, through the mobile phone; they rave in front of the many houses destroyed by missiles accidentally fired from an American plane by an American soldier motivated by the fight against terrorism…
Ravings of the moment of silence that precedes the storm, and ravings of the moment of righteous violence that transforms Baghdad’s nights and its days into unbearable hell.
Iraqis will rave until their land is free and the barriers and concrete walls that fill their streets and alleys and the obstacles to a safe passage through them are gone.
I don’t know much about Iraqi resistance literature, but here is what Dr Mouna told me about the author, Kulshan al-Bayati:
She is an Iraqi living in Iraq. She was a correspondent for Al-Hayat [newspaper] but was dismissed for her support of resistance to the occupation, and was arrested several times by the U.S. forces and the puppet regime. She works now for the pan-nationalist private Qatari daily, Al-‘Arab.