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Haneen Paperback – 20 Mar 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (20 Mar. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1483959864
  • ISBN-13: 978-1483959863
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,040,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Miriam Day trained as a fiction director at the UK's National Film and Television School and subsequently worked as a script editor before moving into documentary. She produced and directed films in Iraq and Cuba and programmes in Ireland, the UK and the USA while also working as a freelance radio journalist. From 2001 to 2011 she was Creative Director at a studio pioneering interactive animated storytelling. Inspired and informed by three visits to Iraq in the nineteen-nineties, 'Haneen' is the expression of a twenty year fascination with Iraq, its culture and its people. For more information about 'Haneen' and Miriam's other work visit www.miriamday.com. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Iraq has been a dominant feature of our media for many years now, and it feels a familiar subject. But what the headlines obscure are the very human stories that lie behind them. It is all too easy to forget that real people trying to lead ordinary lives are struggling to make sense of what has happened to them and to find a way to carry on. What Miriam Day does so skilfully in this well-crafted and well-written novel is to bring the human story to the fore by focussing on one family whose lives are turned upside down by war and conflict.
Cousins Kamaran and Leyla grow up loved and protected in Baghdad but it’s not long before outside forces disrupt their happy childhood. Through them we see the devastation that overtakes the city and the country after the rise of Saddam Hussein. It’s a compelling story of a family over decades from the 1950s to the 1990s and is both well-researched and unsentimentally but movingly narrated. It felt very authentic to me, especially considering the author is not from that part of the world, and I learnt a lot from it. Highly recommended to anyone wanting to learn more about Iraq and the conflict that has so devastated it whilst at the same time enjoying a very readable and enjoyable, if poignant, love story.
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This is a good story, told with obvious depth of knowledge of Iraq, its history, people and the sufferings that many have been through, following Western interventions. It is a romance interwoven with a particular sequence of events that I knew a little about, but never really understood. It gives a strong sense of the fragile divides that are embedded in all societies, often reflected in families and vulnerable to outside actions

The descriptions of life before and life after these events (insurgencies,Saddam Hussein's rise to power, the invasion of Kuwait and US actions),the fracturing of family and community is told with an eye for detail, sensations and feelings! The first half of the book builds through the eyes of a child, Kamaran in relative peace ( but not within his family) and then jumps to Kamaran as a man exiled from his beloved Bagdad and the love of his life. The early years are highly crafted (on occasions, rather laboured) and build a sense of childhood peace and maturing, but with increasing awareness of discord - overheard sights and conversations.

The plot, like Kamaran, moves around and leaves loose ends that are picked up later, moving to an inevitable end. Betrayal and loyalty are in equal measure. The second part of the book describes the futility of the war and its impact on people's lives as experienced by Kamaran. The focus swirls around Kamaran and his family who are caught up, not of their own making, in situations that face Iraq either from internal or external factors - still not resolved and still divided.

The writing feels very like "an Iraqi " voice - the structure and phrasing and words/concepts used. This gives a real sense of authenticity and a deep knowledge and understanding of the culture and people.
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Format: Paperback
Picture Iraq.

If you are a 'westerner' then very likely the first images in your mind will have been of a smiling, sadistic looking Saddam Hussein waving a rifle, or being dragged from a hole in the ground, huge explosions in the city of Baghdad during an apparently endless series of attacks, and ghostly, bloodied 'victims' of 'collateral damage' in hospitals, or lined up in the cross hairs of high-tech gun-cameras.

And that's exactly how the western media and political institutions would like you to think.

Miriam Day's HANEEN asks you to think of them as they really are, exactly the same as 'us'. As people, as human beings, with history, with culture, with hopes, dreams, ambitions, relations, yearnings and desires.

With poignant, incredibly vivid and beautiful prose - so much so you can almost smell the scent of the air - Day weaves a heartbreaking love story into the turbulent founding of the modern state of Iraq, the vicious, banal and eventually disastrous actions of the Ba-ath regime, and the intense suffering and cruelty meted out to the civilian population by the western powers with bombing and the most savage sanctions policy ever imposed on a country.

Caught within, and compromised by, forces beyond their control, and with a palpable sense of dread, Day's protagonists cling desperately to their humanity as they struggle to find their way to one another and reach reconciliation.

One of the most moving books I have ever read, a truly devastating conclusion marks the end of this superb debut novel, which deserves to be widely recognised and championed.

A website accompanies its publication at: [...]
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Format: Paperback
I was given this book and started reading it because it seemed rude not to. I was quickly drawn in by prose so beautiful and evocative that I felt I could see, smell and hear old Baghdad. Especially the food! I yearned to go there and breath it all in as the author clearly had. The pictures of the main characters going about their daily business are so deftly and vividly painted that I felt like a voyeur and quickly came to care very much what happened to this family, this community. Because it tells the harrowing truth about how the war on Iraq impacted its people, I knew this was a tale that was unlikely to end well, but I was unprepared for the final twist. This is a stunning novel that tells a heart wrenching tale and leaves you with a sense of humility and humanity that lingers long after the gripping last chapter. A breathtaking first novel well worth a read by anyone who enjoys great stories well told!
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