Dima Asaad, Class of 2018
English Department Capstone Winner
Iraqi Novel after 2003: Its Role in Reconstructing the Lost Memory of Iraqi Past
Iraq witnessed social and political change after 2003, and the national identity was deteriorated and replaced by sectarian identity. Minorities were challenged as the country’s diversity was endangered by the dominance of sectarian identities. During the twentieth century, Iraqi national identity dominated over sectarian identity, and old middle class enjoyed a secular lifestyle that did not entirely rely on certain religion or sect. Thus, there were different ways of reaction to the rise of sectarianism and disintegration of Iraq’s national identity by old middle class. This paper explores one of the most important and unnoticed reaction which is the literary reaction that is represented in the Iraqi novel. Novels such as Tishari, Ya Maryam, and the World Through the Eyes of Angels are committed to preserve the abandoned memory of Iraqi past, when diversities were accepted and the national identity was celebrated. This paper focuses on Inaam Kachachi’s novel, Tishari, and how it highlights Iraq’s social diversity and secular lifestyle in contrast to the fragility of Iraq’s national sense that threatened the country’s diversity after 2003.