Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Megan K. Stack - Every Man In This Village Is A Liar

Megan K. Stack - Every Man In This Village Is A Liar

I picked this up at St Mark's Bookshop a few weeks ago as it had a lot of those elements that make me grab a book, pay for it and start reading it immediately: woman writer, war correspondent, autobiography, Middle-East...

I finished it over a week ago and haven't really stopped thinking about it since, and I've come to the conclusion that I can't make my mind up about what I think. This statement probably only makes sense inside my head, so I invite everyone to read it and let me know what you think. It's sometimes easier to talk about a book when someone else has their own opinions you can bounce yours off.

Megan Stack is a foreign correspondent who works for the LA Times. and has covered some of the main events (for events see mainly wars) in the Middle East over the past decade. Her book describes her personal experiences and views of the invasion of Iraq, life in Saudia Arabia and Libya, Jerusalem and the West Bank, Jordan, the invasion of Afghanistan and the removal of the Taliban, civil war in Iraq, elections in Egypt...
Megan really doesn't hold back, and for that I am grateful. I found her at times insanely brave, and others irritating, but in the end, so human. My favourite part is Megan's remembrance of Atwar Bahjat, the female al-Jazeera reporter who was murdered in an ambush in 2006. I tend to use Atwar Bahjat as an example to counter-attack a generic statement that "all Muslim women are oppressed" that I hear too often in these parts of the world, so it was interesting (and terribly sad) to read her first hand experience as her friend, and then her death.

Last of all, I have to say, this book is unsettling. It rocks your beliefs somewhat (whatever those beliefs may be). Just a warning - it's far from an easy read.

Still can't form a real clear opinion. Maybe that is just the way it's going to be with this book.

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