“This is an illuminating piece of writing reconstructing the turbulent history of a Jewish-Iraqi family. Moreover, the narrative follows closely the patterns of the historical landscape.
What emerges is an ‘integrated history’ shedding light on family vignettes and political events, antecedents which help to understand the current conflict in the Middle East.”
Professor Konrad Kwiet
Born in Baghdad encompasses not only a part of one family’s history, the Zulaikhas, but also touches on a wider sense of the exraordinary history of the Jewish people of Iraq. Covering the life of Solomon Zulaikha, the eldest of five from a Jewish family in Bagdad, the biography begins in the wake of Ottoman rule in the newly formed State of Iraq, tracing Sol’s life as a young boy growing up in Baghdad in the 1920s and 30s.
After the Iraqi government is overthrown by a pro-Nazi regime during the Second World War, the story follows Sol’s unique journey from the Middle East to India and ultimately Australia. Written by his grandson Tobias, the narrative is delicately balanced between Sol’s own life story and a detailed political awareness of the relevant eras, woven together seamlessly during some of the twentieth century’s most fascinating and pivotal times.
Born In Baghdad was the 2016 winner of the Rosalind Sharbanee Writers Award