A Stranger in Your Own City

A Stranger in Your Own City

Travels in the Middle East’s Long War


'Exquisite . . . A genuine, melancholy masterpiece' WILLIAM DALRYMPLE
'A journalistic marvel' JAMES MEEK
'A powerful, unforgettable book' NADIFA MOHAMMED

From Orwell Prize winning journalist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad comes a searing and nuanced biography of a lost Iraq

This is the story of a people who once lived under the rule of a megalomaniac leader who shaped the state in his own image. Then one day, after yet another war, a foreign army invaded, toppled the leader, destroyed the state, and proceeded to invent a new country. This is the story of a people who watched with horror as their world fragmented into a hundred different cities, as walls rose between them and bodies piled in the streets.

From the American invasion to the Arab Spring, ISIS and beyond, A Stranger in Your Own City offers a remarkable de-centring of the West in the history and contemporary situation of the region. What comes to the fore is the effect on the ground: the human cost, the shifting allegiances, the generational change.

'Shatters western assumptions . . . and offers cautious hope' The Observer
'Haunting' Financial Times


  • An excellent and haunting account of the impact of western policies premised on sectarianism that engulfed the country after 2003
    Charles Clover, Financial Times

About the author

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad was born in Iraq in 1975. He began writing for the Guardian and the Washington Post after the US-led invasion in 2003 and has reported across Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Afghanistan for the past twenty years. Putting the experiences of civilians at the heart of his writing, he has won numerous awards including the British Press Awards' Foreign Reporter of the Year, the Orwell Prize for Journalism and two Emmys. He currently lives in Istanbul.
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