Baghdad Burning By Riverbend Analysis

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The Value of Independence and Free-Thinking The Iraq war and the subsequent United States occupation of the country brought dramatic change in the lives’ of the Iraqi people, especially those who lived in Baghdad. The women in this area were particularly affected as fundamental Islamic principles grew within their country. Riverbend, in her blog Baghdad Burning, discusses the ways in which women’s lives were impacted by the occupation. Through her descriptions and the contrasts of life for women before and after the war, the reader finds that Riverbend greatly values her independence. Before the war and subsequent occupation, women were able to travel around Baghdad on their own with relative ease. Riverbend was able to go to work and to the store by herself; she could freely move about the city on her own time table with little fear. After the war, however, Riverbend says that she “feels like [Iraqis] have gone back 50 years... [because now] a woman, or girl, out alone” is not safe (Riverbend 16). In…show more content…
Before the US invaded Iraq, Riverbend “[worked] in an Iraqi database/software company” where she “made as much money as [her] two male colleagues and [received] an equal amount of respect from [her] manager” (Riverbend 22). When she visited her company after the war, however, she was told that “females weren’t welcome [at the company]” anymore because they “‘couldn’t be protected’” (Riverbend 24). She was a woman, and thus the company did not want “to be responsible for what might happen to [her]” at work (Riverbend 24). Riverbend was no longer seen as an independent, self-sufficient individual, but rather as someone who needed to be protected and watched over. In response to this realization, Riverbend “cried bitterly all the way home,” which demonstrates how much she truly values her independence (Riverbend
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