"Few could encapsulate, as Aziz has done, the spirit, laughter, courage, and tears of the people of this extraordinary, complex land, where civilization flourished before Mohammed or Christ walked the earth. Every American and British politician should read this book and sink to their knees in shame."--Felicity Arbuthnot, journalist, broadcaster, and senior researcher for John Pilger's award-winning documentary "Paying the Price: Killing the Children of Iraq"
"Barbara Aziz has written a must-read book which puts a human face on an Iraqi people dehumanized by simplistic, misleading and inaccurate media accounts before, during and after America's illegitimate invasion and occupation of their homeland. She also puts an inconvenient truth to the lies and misrepresentations often held as fact by many Americans concerning the reality of life in Iraq under Saddam Hussein, the awful impact of economic sanctions on the Iraqi people before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and the sophistication and depth of a thousands-year old culture that is in the process of being destroyed by the combined forces of greed, hubris and ignorance."--Scott Ritter, chief United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq (1991-1998) and author of Iraq Confidential: The Untold Story of America's Intelligence Conspiracy
"Based upon two decades of courageous and dangerous reporting out of Iraq, Aziz has carefully constructed a devastating human account of the genocidal impact that the 12 year long economic sanctions regime exerted upon the innocent people of that country. Her searing personal portraits must be added to the cold statistics of about 1.5 million Iraqis silently exterminated by the U.S., the U.K. and the U.N. during this period."--Francis A. Boyle, author of Destroying World Order: U.S. Imperialism in the Middle East Before and After September 11th and Biowarfare and Terrorism
"This is a book filled with people who speak intimately with candor, admirable patience, understandable outrage and, all too often, the conviction born of sheer suffering. Profoundly humane, it does much to help those of us outside Iraq to better understand the full range of experiences in that embattled country, on its own terms."--Dick Doughty, author of Gaza: Legacy of Occupation
"Aziz's book fills a hole in the literature on the Middle East principally for two reasons. Its view is dramatically at odds with that of the mainstream Western media and it combines the perspectives of a trained anthropologist, a seasoned journalistic observer of the region, and above all, that of a caring human being."--John Meisel, Sir Edward Peacock Professor of Political Science Emeritus, Queen's University
"Aziz's book is informative, empathetic, and eye-opening. This gripping story about the embargo war on Iraqi peoples and culture is critical to understanding how American foreign policy erases history and the collective memory of both Iraqis and Americans."--Laura Nader, professor of anthropology, University of California, Berkeley
"This first-hand account of the effects of sanctions on the Iraqi people is rich in description and provides a much-needed human perspective on the beleaguered Iraqi people."--Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban, Rhode Island College
"Captures the depth of Iraqi suffering under the impact of the inhuman sanctions and wars like no other book has."--Naseer H. Aruri, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
As Americans went about their daily lives in the 1990s, few could imagine what Iraqi men and women faced under the brutal sanctions imposed by the UN and enforced by the United States. Barbara Nimri Aziz, a frequent visitor to Iraq, saw first-hand what life was like for Iraqis during the long years of the embargo.
Swimming Up the Tigris reveals Aziz's skill as both a journalist and an anthropologist. In the book, she allows ordinary Iraqis to speak directly to us. We learn of the breakdown of Iraq's once exemplary medical system, and of needless deaths as a result of poor healthcare. We hear of deprivations, aerial bombardments, and local efforts to fight an embargo viewed by many as unjust. Drawing on intimate sources inside Iraq, the author reveals disparities between news reports of unfolding events and what Iraqi men and women were actually experiencing in the months preceding the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
By revisiting this critical period, Aziz sheds light on the illegal and questionable tactics used by the United States to destroy Iraq through the sanctions, well before the WMD ruse, and provides context to more fully understand the current failed occupation and worldwide anti-U.S. sentiments.
Barbara Nimri Aziz is a freelance journalist with a Ph.D. in social anthropology from the University of London. She is a Fulbright Scholar for 2007-2008 and the producer and host of "Tahrir: Voices of the Arab World" on Pacifica WBAI Radio, New York.
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" Through her empathic personal portraits of a number of Iraqi men and women, Aziz powerfully conveys the pain, confusion, and outrage of the Iraqis as they cope with food rationing, lack of medicine, rampant corruption, breakdown of civility, and a crumbling infrastructure. This angry and compassionate book puts a human face on the Iraqi people's ordeal through years of cruel dictatorship, a harsh embargo, and a war with no end in sight. "
"Encapsulates poignantly the miserable plight of ordinary Iraqui men, women, and children since the 1990s as a result of the US militaty intervention there."
--Muslim Book World Review