Sophia's Peace Work

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Book Ideas
I always marveled at all the people I knew who wrote books about their experiences in Iraq, some after living in the country for only a few months. I don't dispute the validity of their experiences or the worthiness of the final result; I just couldn't see myself doing it. I always felt, "How can I write a book about what's going on here. I hardly understand what's going on here!" In Iraq there is so much history and so many cultural issues dripping off everything that is said and done that I don't know how to interpret what's happening most of the time and it felt impossible and presumptuous to write about it.

In fact, I think I felt I wasn't smart enough to do it. I have always had difficulty getting past the surface of things in Iraq, which my friends seemed to have had no problem passing. And I felt that a book needed a unifying theme and my experiences have been so diverse and eclectic that there was no central thread. But I've now lived in the Middle East for, all told, almost 7 years and 4 of those years have been in Iraq and I've felt the need to process this whole experience - from the time before I came to live here when I was active in the local peace movement of my town before the war in 2003 through to the present, working for an Iraqi non-governmental organization. Perhaps I'll never do it but at least this blog and all the posts here might be some of the source material I could draw upon. Or maybe I'll just throw it all out and start over.
Anyway, I was considering some of the things I would write about and came up with a few chapter titles that I thought I'd share:

Title: Sophia's Peace Work (We'll it can be a working title for now)
Chapter 1: Civil Disobedience Clusterfuck (is that one word or two?)
Chapter 2: Wide-eyed and Bushy-tailed in Saddam's Iraq
Chapter 3: Iraqi Students and not teaching them a thing
Chapter 4: Sex in Iraq
Chapter 5: Dijla: The Tigris River Boat Trip
Chapter 6: The Great Director: "I am God!"
Chapter 7: The Iraqi Tick
Chapter 8: Romance (strike that and replace with "More Sex") in Iraq
Chapter 9: A night at the hospital
Chapter 10: The Fighting Bird Men of Iraq
Chapter 11: Ministry madness
Chapter 12: (There's the rub ... I don't know how to end this thang!)

Any thoughts, advise, anyone?


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