Baghdad Diaries recounts the horrific consequences of the first Gulf War and the embargo imposed on Iraq that started in 1991 and drastically affected the daily lives of Iraqis, especially women. Throughout the diaries, al-Radi portrays the multiple facets of the destruction inflicted by the sanctions and the wars against Iraq launched by the coalition forces between 1991 and 2003, such as the demolition of bridges and infrastructure, as well as the transformation of the natural environment in Iraq. This essay examines Baghdad Diaries as a political diary—what I call “unhomely diary”—that does not only act as a domestic historical record, but also as a political historical record that blurs the boundaries between the domestic and the political, as well as between the personal and the global. In light of Homi Bhabha’s theory of the “unhomely” that intertwines the “home” and the “world,” I focus, in my analysis, on themes of war and resistance in relation to gender and domesticity. Through the critical lens of the “unhomely diary,” the aim of this article is twofold: to expand feminist studies of women’s diaries, and to contribute to feminist scholarship by and about women from the Middle East.


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pp. 53-70
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