Twenty years ago the United States invaded the sovereign nation of Iraq, a country of 44 million people that was, at the time, one of the most secular nations in the Middle East. By the time U.S. forces left in 2011, more than 100,000 people had been killed, thousands more had fled, and fundamentalist militias ruled the streets. For the Iraqis who lived through it, nothing would ever be the same.
How does such a calamity reverberate through time? How does war live within us, even when we are at peace?
Iraqi and Iranian authors join writers and members of the Notre Dame community to discuss the aftermaths of war and peace, and explore how the invasion of Iraq subsists in the present.
This is the second of two events examining the history and legacy of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Join us for Aftermaths I on Thursday, March 30 »
Salar Abdoh is an Iranian novelist and essayist. He is the author of the novels Out of Mesopotamia, The Poet Game, Opium, and Tehran At Twilight, and the editor and translator of the anthology Tehran Noir. He is also a director of the graduate program in Creative Writing at the City College of New York.
Amal Al-Jubouri is an Iraqi writer, poet, translator, journalist and publisher. She published her first collection of poems, Wine from Wounds, at the age of 19. After studying English Literature at the University of Baghdad, she worked as a journalist and translator, and founded East-West Publishing, whose mission is to introduce works of international literature to the Iraqi literary scene. In 1997, seeking political asylum, Al-Jubouri immigrated to Germany where she launched Al-Diwan, the first and only Arab-German literary magazine. Al-Jubouri is the author of seven collections, translated into 12 languages, and has published 14 books. Her book 99 Veils received the award for best Arabic from the Paris Arabic Literature Society.
Mortada Gzar is an Iraqi novelist, filmmaker, and visual artist. Born in Kuwait in 1982, he has an engineering degree from the University of Baghdad, and has been a resident at the Iowa International Writers’ Workshop. He has written, directed, and produced several films that have screened at international festivals. His animated short film Language won the Doha Film Award. He is the author of three novels: Broom of Paradise, Sayyid Asghar Akbar, and My Beautiful Cult.
Dunya Mikhail is an Iraqi American poet and writer. She is a laureate of the UNESCO Sharja Prize for Arab Culture and has received fellowships from the United States Artists, the Guggenheim, and Kresge. Her honors also include Arab American Book Award, and UN Human Rights Award for Freedom of Writing. After graduating from the University of Baghdad, she worked as a journalist and translator for The Baghdad Observer. Facing censorship and interrogation, she left Iraq in 1995, first to Jordan and then to America, settling in Detroit. She earned a Master's degree from Wayne State University and she currently teaches Arabic at Oakland University in Michigan.
Atalia Omer is professor of religion, conflict, and peace studies in the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame. She is a core faculty member of the Keough School’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. She earned her Ph.D. in Religion, Ethics, and Politics from the Committee on the Study of Religion at Harvard University. Her research focuses on religion, violence, and peacebuilding as well as theories and methods in the study of religion and Palestine/Israel. She was a 2017 Andrew Carnegie Fellow resulting in her forthcoming book, Decolonizing Religion and Peacebuilding (Oxford University Press).