The Orange Trees of Baghdad:

in search of my lost family

a memoir by Leilah Nadir

with photos by Farah Nosh


Leilah Nadir received the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in BC Literature in 2008.

One of the judges for the award, Dr. Ivan Townshend, Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Geography, University of Lethbridge, wrote: “The Orange Trees of Baghdad resonated with me. I found it at once moving, disturbing, confusing, and wonderfully hopeful... Nadir succeeds in defining a face of contemporary war that is rarely discussed, though it is the matter of a wealth of historical literature. With incredible intricacy and remarkable sensitivity she presents a portrait of the human struggles of war, whether it be walking for miles to obtain bread, bread made of flour and wood chips, household adjustments to water and electricity cutoffs, encountering car bombs and gunfire, kidnappings, household intrusions, dealing with no telephone access, rations, joblessness, sleeping on the roof through helicopter raids, coping with inadequate prosthetics, coping with injury and torture, or the anguish of trying to bury a loved one when there is neither mortuary space nor appropriate cemetery space. These are lasting images that add a different perspective on the nature of one of our contemporary wars; these images underscore the resilience of the human spirit. The symbolism of the house and orange tree is beautifully weaved throughout this work.”

 For the remainder of his comments, click here.