|Issam Jameel reads Chapter 1 from his new autobiographical memoir Iraq Through A Bullet Hole. This book describes Issam’s fateful journey to his homeland of Iraq in 2005 after a decade in exile. From the relative safety of Jordan, where he worked for an opposition radio station under the watchful eyes of Saddam’s spies, he travels by car to Baghdad visit family and friends.He longs to see his mother country, but the immediate reason is to grieve his nephew’s untimely death at the hands of American forces while guarding an Iraq parliament member from insurgent attacks. Jameel enters a Kafkaesque nightmare of assassinations, kidnapping, and explosions. American soldiers are everywhere in the streets and ready to shoot whenever they feel danger is close. He sees the formerly
secular civil society fairly well replaced by vehement sectarianism, intolerance, and ignorance. Basic human needs have become a endless daily struggle amidst the shards of infrastructure.Tasks we all take for granted, such as selling a house or getting a job are fraught with peril as old scores continue to be settled on religious, ethnic, and political fronts. Everywhere he turns, people are desperate to leave but fear for the worst. After returning safely, he started to record the events he had seen, trying to be honest and impartial to unfold the Iraqi problem to the western community. This is his story.
|Issam Jameel was born in Baghdad in 1954. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in theatrical arts from the Academy of Fine Arts in Baghdad in 1978. In 1980, he spent his compulsory army services working for Al-Qadesia, a daily newspaper of the Iraqi army. He explored the amazing world of writing when he offered articles in theatrical criticism. After several years he became the dependable theatrical critic in Al-Thawra, the main official newspaper in Iraq during the years 1981-1985. His first book, which included two plays about war, had been published in 1983 by the main Iraqi governmental publishing house. His first play, The Memory of a Dead Man, had been directed by himself with an experimental theater belonging to a national theater group in Iraq. Three of his plays have been directed by Iraqi directors for the national theater group in Baghdad during 1985 to 1991, while two other plays have been directed by himself at the experimental theater in Baghdad in 1989 and 1993.During his long residence in Jordan, he converted to Christianity before migrating to Australia in 2002, where he now resides.|