The Flying Carpet to Baghdad

One Woman's Fight for Two Orphans of War

3.68 based on 259 ratings & 59 reviews on

Zahra, aged 3, and Hawra, just a few months old were the only survivors of a missile strike in Baghdad in 2003. Their parents and their five siblings all died. Unable to have children herself, Hala Jaber, an award-winning foreign correspondent, was determined to do all she could to help them. Sent to Iraq by the Sunday Times to cover the war, the last thing she expected was to find herself trying to save two little girls who had lost everything. But what happened next tells us far more about that conflict than any news bulletin ever could. Being a Lebanese Muslim, as well as the employee of a London paper, Hala is in the privileged position of being able to straddle two very different worlds and explain one to the other, and her beautifully written and deeply moving account affords a genuinely fresh insight into the Iraq war and its terrible human cost.

I read the book in one sitting and confess I cried more than once. (...) Jaber's story doesn't tie it all up with a neat pink ribbon, but it is all the more telling and universal for that
Sunday Times
nothing I have read compares to Hala Jaber's mesmerising account of how her longing for a baby drew her into an intense, often agonising, involvement with two little Iraqi sisters orphaned by a U.S missile strike
Daily Mail

About Hala Jaber

Hala Jaber was born in West Africa and grew up in the Lebanon, where her family still lives. She began her journalistic career in the Press Association Bureau in Beirut. Twice named Foreign Correspondent of the Year at the British Press Awards in both 2005 and 2006, she has been honoured by Amnesty International and in 2007 won the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism. She is the author of the book The Flying Carpet to Baghdad. She lives in London.

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