When the ‘homeland’ is a warzone: Technology, exile, and writing the Iraq war

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While the Iraq War (2003–2009) has been identified by Drezner and Farrell (2004. “Web of influence.” Foreign policy 145: 32–40) as the war in which blogging came into its own, for many observers television has remained the primary source of information. For Iraqi exiles, and especially those old enough to remember their country clearly, television provides a stream of information about the conflict, problematises the boundaries between their homeland and their new country, and presents significant ontological questions. Through the reading of Iqbal Al-Qazwini's Zubaida's Window: A Novel of an Iraqi Exile (2008. New York: The Feminist Press), this article examines the effect on the exile's identity of observing the war via television. It considers how the transition into late warfare, coupled with the paradox of observing the war from a Western perspective, impacts on the Iraqi telespectator. It explores how Al-Qazwini's text opens up questions about how civilians perceive conflict and considers the ways in which this may evolve as the world continues its trajectory into late warfare.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-188
Number of pages15
JournalCritical Studies on Security
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sep 2013


  • exile
  • identity
  • Iraq war
  • literature
  • technology

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