Wilding Returns To Iraq
Frontline Communique writer Jo Wilding returns to Iraq for the first time since war and expulsion
1st Nov 2003
The Bristol based writer who remained in Baghdad until the last possible moment in order to send back eyewitness reports on the war in Iraq is returning to the country to continue her work.
Jo Wilding's dispatches from the Iraqi capital provided SQUALL readers with a unique insight into the life of ordinary Iraqi civilians as war crept up and exploded in their midst. Her stay in Baghdad lasted from a month before the war until 12 days into the conflict and her interviews with casualties of the bombing and bereaved families brought the reality of the conflict into the front rooms of western readers. She sent out her observations and testimonies via an illicit satellite internet connection before being expelled by the Iraq foreign ministry in March.
From November 5 Jo will continue her vital dispatches from Baghdad. "It's vital that we hear and see the Iraqi people. For decades they've been crushed between the political agendas of the Iraqi government and the US, UK and other western countries and nobody has acted in the interests of the people". She also intends to set up a variety of twinning schemes between with schools, universities, hospitals, sports teams and social groups in Britain and beyond. A museum on a Native American Reservation has already requested a twinning partnership with an Iraqi museum.
"The importance of twinning is in putting people in touch with each other. Iraqi's can tell their stories directly to people in this country. The university libraries in Iraq have no journals more recent than 1990 because the sanctions prevented them. I hope, for example, that students in this country could raise money and get CD roms of academic journals out to the students in Iraq. It's solidarity more than aid". Jo Wilding will also be helping a British circus troupe to run skills workshops for Iraqi children and her dispatches from Iraq will be published regularly in SQUALL's Frontline Communique section.
GOODBYE BAGHDAD - report from inside Baghdad within the first weeks of the 2003 invasion - 30-March 03
I AM HIS MOTHER - report from inside Baghdad within the first weeks of the 2003 invasion - 29-March 03