From the street: Iraqi Novelist tells truth of his life by Andrew Marciniak

Mahmoud Saeed published his first novel in 1963. The Ba’ath party took power in Iraq through a military coop one week later. Saddam Hussein was a 25-yar-old working up the ranks of the party at the time. Saeed was arrested a week after that and remained in prison for a year. The rest of his life he would spend in and out of jail, hiding manuscripts and fleeing his home country to avoid persecution.

Saeed is now 73, living in Lakeview. He appears to be in good physical shape considering his history of torture and imprisonment.

In the world through the Eyes of Angels is seed’s recently published novel about a difficult but good life set in the 40s and 50s of Mosul, Iraq. Portions of this book and Saddam City (2004), his semi-autobiographical novel about an imprisoned Iraqi teacher, were read to an audience at Columbia College on the evening of February 16.  The reading was followed by a Q-and-A led by Mary Schmich, who reported on Saeed for the Chicago Tribune in September 2011.

“They want you to write what they thing,” Saeed said about Arab governments’ attempts to censor his work and to get him to write for suppressive national causer. The original text of Saddam City had two chapters deleted in Syria before it was allowed to be published.


About mahmoudsaeediraq

I am an Iraqi writer. I came to the USA in 1999, and I got politic asylum. Since that time I am living in Chicago, Illinois. I have written more than 20 novels and short story collections and hundreds of articles. Some of my novels were destroyed by Iraqi regimes. I have won awards in Iraq, Egypt and the United States. I also have won awards for short stories, one in Iraq and the second in UAE. I worked in Iraq as a high school teacher teaching Arabic literature. I was imprisoned six times between 1959 and 1980. I was dismissed from my job for three years, so I went to Morocco and I worked there as a high school teacher. I wrote about last time in prison as novel titled, "I am the one who saw." This novel was translated to English by Dr. Sadri (a professor of Lake Frost University) and published in Al Saqi house publishing company in London by the name of "Saddam City." The New York Public Libraries listed my novel as one of the best novels of the last century. Amnesty international chose 37 writers from all over the world, including me, to celebrate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We wrote short stories, and the collection was published in London, USA, Canada, Spain, and Turkey. It was translated in more than 20 languages. MAHMOUD SAEED, Chicago, Illinois
This entry was posted in مقالات نقدية بالإنكليزية عن أعمال محمود سعيد - Reviews in English About Mahmoud's Works. Bookmark the permalink.

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