Interview with Riverbend about her book


Alternet has an interview with Riverbend, the “Girl Blogger from Iraq.” An excerpt:

Lakshmi Chaudhry: Let's start with the obvious: why did you start writing a blog?

The first person to encourage me to write a blog was Salam Pax of “Where is Raed?.” After the war he suggested I should start my own blog as I could write in English and after thinking about it for a while, I eventually did. I liked the idea of blogging because I was very frustrated with the Western media for telling only half the story in Iraq. No one seemed to know what was going on inside of the country — all the damage and horror Iraqis were facing on a daily basis.

In addition to this, blogging proved to be therapeutic. It was a way to vent fears and anger that I couldn't really express in front of family and friends because it was always necessary to stay strong and, to some extent, positive.

Reading your blog entries, it's obvious that a significant portion of your audience is not Iraqi. Was this your original intention or did it just turn out that way?

I don't think I wrote the blog for any particular audience. I simply wanted to express my emotions and thoughts and I wasn't sure who would read it. I never expected many Iraqis inside of Iraq to read it because Iraqis are far too busy coping with daily realities to read blogs or even write them. I liked blogging in English because it's a language people in many different countries understand. I would have been preaching to the choir if I blogged in Arabic.

What role does the blog play in your life today, especially given its immense success?

The blog for a while became a part of my daily life. I began seeing things from a blogging point of view in many situations and wondering what the readers would think if they could do or see what I was currently doing or seeing! My family is sometimes curious about it but more often than not, they worry about my safety. I try to make time for reading and answering emails and sometimes blogging, but it all depends on the electricity/phone situation.

Thanks to Lotsofbigideas for the link.

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