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10/1/06


Mind Shadows      Where is Riverbend, The Baghdad Burning Blogger?

In 2003, when I began reading her, Riverbend was a 24 year old blogger of Baghdad Burning, launched August 17, 2003, after Bush's invasion of Iraq, which the administration humorously titled Operation Iraqi Freedom. Riverbend's identity is carefully hidden, but, according to Wikipedia,the weblog entries indicate that Riverbend is unmarried, from a mixed Shia and Sunni family, living with her parents and brother in Baghdad. Before the United States occupation of Iraq she was a computer programmer. She writes in an idiomatic English which reflects her Western education.

She has posted riveting accounts of life in Baghdad. She has won prizes, and this New York Times comment was written about her.

  • "Riverbend is a thoughtful writer whose articulate, even poetic, prose packs an emotional punch while exhibiting a journalist's eye for detail." Jason Zineman, New York Times.

    Here are some of Riverbend's own comments:

  • It's amazing how as things get worse, you begin to require less and less. We have a saying for that in Iraq, 'Ili yishoof il mawt, yirdha bil iskhooneh.' Which means, 'If you see death, you settle for a fever.' We've given up on democracy, security and even electricity. Just bring back the water." Riverbend
  • "The weapons never existed. It's like having a loved one sentenced to death for a crime they didn't commit--having your country burned and bombed beyond recognition, almost. Then, after two years of grieving for the lost people, and mourning the lost sovereignty, we're told we were innocent of harboring those weapons. We were never a threat to America. . . Congratulations Bush--we are a threat now." Riverbend

    Her last post was August 5, 2006, and she has done nothing since. Knowing she lives in the most dangerous city in the world, I have been querying others whether they know what happened to her. Here is all I found:

  • i think everyone is worried. i don't know. have not heard anything for well over 2 months. there is a chance she left the country, but that's just speculation. it's really horrible. i feel so badly about it and wish there was something i could do. she comes from a big family and i have the impression they all really hang together. i am sorry i cannot help you.

    I hope that she turns up, and if she does wonderful. I fervently hope she does. If she does not, you should know about another unwilling victim of Bush's "liberation" of Iraq. Here is the link to her blog. Baghdad Burning
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