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I am an Iraqi novelist, and this is something about me.
Mahmoud SaeedMahmoud Saeed (born 1939) is an Iraqi-born American award-winning novelist.
Born in Mosul, Saeed has written more than twenty novels and short story collections, and hundreds of articles. He started writing short stories at an early age. He wrote an award-winning short story in the Newspaper “Fatal Iraq, Newspaper” in 1956. He issued a collection of short stories, “Port Saeed and other stories” in 1957. In 1963, the coup of the government destroyed his two novels, The Old Case and The Strike, which he deposited in Iraqi Union Guild.
The authorities prevented his novel Rhythm and Obsession from being published in 1968, and banned his novel Rue Ben Barka, in 1970. Rue Ben Barka was published fifteen years later in Egypt, Jordan, and Beirut in 1997. Authorities banned the publication of any book written by him from 1963 to 2008. His most important novels after Rue Ben Baraka are The Girls of Jacob, The World Through the Angel’s Eyes, I am the One Who Saw, and Trilogy of Chicago. Saddam City
Saddam City, published in 2004 by Dar Al-Saqi in London, is Saeed's most famous novel. The title was changed from the original Arabic title, I am the One Who Saw (أنا الذي راء), and was translated into English by Lake Forest College sociology professor Ahmad Sadri. The book was later translated and published in Italian with the same title.
Saddam City depicts the fear and despair of Baghdad schoolteacher Mustafa Ali Noman as he is shuttled from prison to prison after being detained by Iraqi security forces during the height of Saddam Hussein's rule in the 1970s. The senselessness of his arrest and the torture he and other prisoners endure drive Mustafa to see Hussein's Iraq as a place where "being free only meant one thing: imminent arrest." The novel is based on the true experience of Saeed's experiences as a political prisoner in Iraq.
The book has been received well by critics, one of which called Saeed's novel "... bracingly convincing ... a simply beautiful, though inevitably harrowing, tale." Amazon.com also wrote that "Mahmoud Saeed's devastating novel evokes the works of Kafka, Solzhenitsyn and Elie Wiesel. It is a vivid account of the wanton and brutal treatment of the Iraqi people by Saddam Hussein's feared secret police and of the arbitrariness of life under tyranny." The novel has applauded for highlighting positive aspects of Arab and Iraqi culture, including friendship, community, respect, generosity, and hospitality. Saddam City was also considered one of the best 56 novels in the world by the website Library Thing in New York.
According to the author, the original transcript of the novel included two additional chapters which were censored and removed from the novel by Arab authorities before he brought the book to be published in the United States.
Mahmoud Saeed teaches intermediate and advanced Arabic language courses at DePaul University, as well as Arab Culture and Iraqi Political History.
• 1955 – “Ominous gun.” This short story won the Prize of Fata Al Iraq Newspaper (Iraqi Young).
• 1957 - Port Saeed and Other Stories. Short stories. Baghdad. There is a copy in the National Library in Baghdad.
• 1959 – The Strike. Novel. Mosul. Manuscript deposited with the Iraqi Writers Union.
• 1963 - The Old Case. Novel. Published in Baghdad by the Iraqi Writers Union, but was destroyed a few days later when the coup changed the government.
• 1968 - Rhythm and obsession. Novel. The government prevented the novel from being published, but it was eventually published in Syria. Almada House Damascus. 1995.
• 1970 - Rue Ben Baraka. Novel. It was banned in Iraq. It was published in Cairo in 1987 - ISBN 3574/87, then in Dar Caramel Amman, Jordan in 1993. It was published again in Dar al-Carmel, Jordan in 1995, then in the House of Arts in Beirut, Lebanon in 1997. It won the Ministry of