The Baghdad Clock by Shahad Al Rawi

The Baghdad Clock

Shahad Al Rawi

A debut novel of two young girls growing up in Baghdad during the Iraqi war. Their lives revolve round family, neighbours, friends, school, exams and simply having fun. As the sanctions bite and the bombing increases, so their lives and their neighbourhood are transformed and the beautiful, dreamy and poetic writing morphs to match the destruction around them. A compelling insight into the everyday struggle of ordinary Iraqi people.


Before I closed my eyes, I saw Nadia smiling as she slept. Her lips moved slowly, as though she were talking to herself. Surprised, I moved closer until my face was right in front of hers. I could see colourful phantoms moving around her forehead. I had never seen anything like these visions before. They appeared, disappeared, and then came back. I was seeing her dreams. This was the first time in my life I had entered someone's dreams.
At that moment, she began dreaming of me.

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