Boat in the marsh

Young girl collecting reeds in the marshes of Southern Iraq

Christina Asquith went to Baghdad on assignment in 2003 and spent two years reporting from the front lines.  By fall 2004, as the insurgency strengthened, all journalists living in Baghdad were under death threat.  Two of Asquith’s Iraqi girlfriends agreed to hide her in their Baghdad house for safety. Living with an Iraqi family gave her an up-close look at how the war had affected their lives:  they had little electricity or water, lived in constant fear of mortar attack or suicide bomb, and while women had walked the streets freely under Saddam, they could no longer leave home unaccompanied by a man and were forced to veil or risk being groped or killed.  From this experience, Asquith decided to follow their lives and write SISTERS IN WAR: A Story of Love, Family, and Survival in the New Iraq (Random House; On-Sale Date: September 29, 2009; Publication Date:  October 6, 2009).

Before the war, Iraqi women were professors, lawyers and engineers and they enjoyed more privileges than most of their Arab sisters. How and why has the U.S.’s involvement rolled women’s status back to the Dark Ages? SISTERS IN WAR is the story of the four women–two Iraqi sisters, one U.S. soldier and a U.S. aid worker–whose narratives explain the choices and challenges women face in the new Iraq.

Iraqi women working at a date factory in Becouba

Iraqi women working at a date factory in Becouba

“Sisters in War: A Story of Love, Family and Survival in the New Iraq” is available at,, and all major bookstores.

To learn more about what you can do for Iraqi women, click on the How To Help tab.