For the very first time, I traveled with Susan, a woman that was born in Iran, who had a narrow escape from sexual harassment in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan on her way to Europe. A Lullaby in the Desert: a haunting account of war and separation takes you to the post-Arabic Spring years, the rise of ISIS / Da’esh in Syria and Iraq, and attempts of all kinds of militia to benefit from the aftermath of Al-Qaida and power vacuum after the U.S troops withdrew from Iraq, and Assad started its war in Syria itself.
Although fiction, the details of weaponry, geographies, and languages would simply be too much for a single Iranian woman to know by herself, the narrative is based on Mojgan Azar’s own experiences. It’s an intense story about humiliation, masking violence, and power with a strict interpretation of Islam, casualties, and suffering during the unsafe crossing of the desert all the way to Latakia, Syria on their quest to Europe. Smugglers, human trafficking, an uncertain future, and lives that can be ended by a single bullet. And yet, there’s hope, a mother’s lullaby in the desert.
About the author
Mojgan Azar was born in Iran and lived most of her adult life in Iraq. She was living in Iraqi Kurdistan in 2014 when ISIS swept through the area, displacing millions and she was trapped in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. Her harrowing experiences inspired her writing, and for the first time, she’s making the story known to the world.
I received a free review copy from the author in exchange for my personal, unbiased opinion upon reading.