A Voice from Iraq

He was a sculptor in Baghdad until his art school burned down in 2003. Proficient in English, he became a translator for American Public Radio’s Dick Gordon, then became a Baghdad blogger for The New York Times. But he’s most famous for his audio stories of life in Baghdad called “Ahmed’s Diary.”

Ahmed's self-portrait

Ahmed Fadaam's self-portrait

For the next two weeks, students in a number of Communications classes will benefit from hearing the stories and insights of Dr. Ahmed Fadaam. Last night, he began his two-week Elon residency with a presentation alongside Gordon, who praised Ahmed’s ability to tell a story clearly and compellingly.

“We had to use his middle name instead of his last name for fear that he might be kidnapped or killed because of his honesty,” Gordon said.

Ahmed’s audio diaries tell about day-to-day life, such as taking his son to a hospital or going to the market to buy food and being faced with life-threatening danger.

I found the backstory to the audio diaries inspiring. After Gordon had edited Ahmed’s draft into a five-minute story, Ahmed would wait until his kids were in bed, would start up the generator because his home had no power in the evenings, and would wait until the sound of helicopters had abated before taping the next entry of “Ahmed’s Diary” that became so awaited by American radio audiences.

Ahmed has a simple, narrative style of storytelling. Take a moment and listen.

Click here for Ahmed’s blog and diary.

Explore posts in the same categories: Blogging, International Communications, Special Guests

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