The Devil You Don't Know: Going Back to Iraq

by Zuhair al-Jezairy

Book cover for The Devil You Don't Know: Going Back to Iraq

"What really comes through and is startlingly refreshing are al-Jezairy’s encounters with ordinary Iraqis . . . during the American occupation. Through them come all the extraordinary Iraqi stories that have been so hard for Westerners to capture all these years." Rageh Omaar

In 1979, journalist Zuhair al-Jezairy fled Iraq and certain death after openly criticizing Saddam Hussein’s regime. Twenty-five years later he is back and cautiously celebrating the toppling of the hated Ba’ath Party.

As editor of a newspaper, he breaks the Oil for Food scandal, disclosing the names of Arabs and Westerners who were involved, and is subsequently forced to resign. He then sets up a television company and travels all over Iraq, documenting the country’s descent into sectarianism and hopeless violence, soon becoming a target himself.

Al-Jezairy’s firsthand accounts of the looting of Baghdad, the destruction of government buildings, and indiscriminate bombings present a searing, personal, and unique view of Iraq after Saddam Hussein.

Zuhair al-Jezairy lives in Iraq, where he manages the country’s first independent news agency, Voice of Iraq. He has published nine books, including two novels, in Arabic.

John West is a journalist and a graduate in classics from Balliol College, Oxford. He has covered three wars in the Middle East as a correspondent for Reuters.

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