Dictatorship, Imperialism and Chaos: Iraq since 1989 (Global History of the Present)

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Introduction: Rape and sexual torture are frequent experiences among torture survivors, but relatively little is known about how victims respond to and find meaning in these experiences. Results: Respondents experienced profound psychological effects that lasted for years, including: shame, feeling broken and prematurely aged, and wanting to isolate themselves from others.

Most female victims who were unmarried at the time of sexual torture never got married. Many survivors found meaning in their experiences by defining their suffering as unjust, placing their experience in the context of a hopeful narrative of Iraqi history, turning to religion, and calling for vengeance upon their persecutors.

Discussion: The results of this study show how survivors of sexual torture, most of whom did not receive psychological treatment, draw upon their own resources to find meaning in existential trauma. Abdullah, T. Dictatorship, Imperialism and Chaos: Iraq Since London: Zed Books.

Iraq: what happened next…

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Iraq: what happened next…

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Not The Queen? Since the history of Iraq has been one of the world's most traumatic. In this book, Thabit Abdullah places the Iraqi people at the centre of changes which began with the invasion of Kuwait in , and ended with the current American-led occupation. Battles for control of oil, the vacuum created by Saddam Hussein's dictatorship and the devastating impact of sanctions have wreaked havoc on Iraqi society over the past two decades.

Abdullah argues that current ethnic tensions and religious divisions are a response to this destruction of civil society, rather than a consequence of having 'artificial' borders, inherent in Iraq's very existence. This powerful and often moving account provides a uniquely measured insight into the recent political and social history of Iraq. It is an ideal introduction for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of this important and controversial nation.