War of Words

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Like many exiled writers from the contemporary Arab world (Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, Syrian poet Adonis), an elusive homeland has always been on Sinan Antoon's mind. Antoon left Baghdad in 1991 after the first Gulf War to study in the U.S. Now an associate professor of Arab-Islamic culture at New York University, he returned to his bedeviled hometown for the first time in the spring of 2003, to co-direct the anguished documentary About Baghdad, following the American-led invasion and occupation of Iraq.

The Baghdad Blues is his latest homage...