Lettre Ulysses Award for the art of reportage

Riverbend, Iraq

Computer Programmer, Blogger
Baghdad Burning. Girl Blog from Iraq

“For me, April 9 was a blur of faces distorted with fear, horror and tears. All over Baghdad you could hear shelling, explosions, clashes, fighter planes, the dreaded Apaches and the horrifying tanks heaving down streets and highways. Whether you loved Saddam or hated him, Baghdad tore you to pieces. Baghdad was burning. Baghdad was exploding … Baghdad was falling.”

It has only been possible to hypothetically construct the identity of the author writing under the pseudonym “Riverbend” through the fragmented information in her weblog and the speculation about her on the Internet.

Riverbend says herself that she is 26 years old and lives with her parents and siblings in Baghdad. She studied at the University of Baghdad and worked as a programmer and network expert for a small software company, a job which she has lost. When she began to write her weblog she was 24. She says that she spent her childhood and early adolescence abroad. Her flawless literary English would indicate that this was an English-speaking country.


go to top of the page

"Literary reportage is linked to a long tradition which goes back to Herodotus. Travelling and writing about foreigners, distant, difficult, and unknown places is a necessity, because in some places people don’t have the luxury, the time, and the tradition of writing about their own culture."Abdourahman Waberi (jury member 2003 & 2004)