When Najem Wali was a child, Baghdad seemed dreamlike to him. His father came home with gifts and stories from the city and young Najeem harboured a single ambition throughout his schooldays: to move to the capital to study.
In 1980, at the outbreak of the Iran War, he fled to Germany, and the Baghdad he had only recently come to call home once again became a distant dream—the dream of a once beautiful city torn apart by decades of war and terror. This is the Baghdad Najem Wali remembers in his new book; a city of merchants, scientists and artists, a city as cosmopolitan, chic and stylish as London or Paris. Najem Wali interweaves the history of Bagdad with personal reminiscences, setting the images of horror against the backdrop of a flourishing metropolis.