Author: Margo Kirtikar Ph.D.
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
Once Upon a Time is creative non-fiction written in the form of a memoir which focuses on the fact that another Baghdad existed not too long ago when people of different nationalities and religions lived and worked together peacefully. The central point of the book is life in Baghdad during the 1940s and 1950s, a period remembered as the golden age of Iraq. The stories told are as seen through the eyes of a young girl and woman, the author, who was born and raised in a Christian multicultural middle class family in Baghdad of the time. The book spans the first twenty years of her life spent in the Middle East. Intertwined with her personal story, the author tells of the lives of others, family, relatives and friends, as she knew them in the Baghdad of her youth. Iraq was a nation of multicultural and diverse people of all backgrounds and beliefs, with a heritage that goes back thousand of years. Iraqis and non-Iraqis, Moslems and non-Moslems, Christians and Jews lived, worked and mingled together in harmony, each aware of their particular cultural boundaries and respectful of others. As the author narrates her personal story she reveals many insights into her life, customs and cultures of Christian and Moslem families, both Iraqis and non-Iraqis who lived and thrived in Baghdad. Interwoven with the personal stories are historical chapters and facts that enable the reader to gain in-depth knowledge of the complexities of the religions, cultural and socio-economic background of Iraq and its people. References to present day conditions in Iraq act like a magnifying glass, making the potential for the country¡¦s possibly hopeful future, if it can find a connection to its more happy past, all the more vivid. The story is not told chronologically. The author weaves back and forth making time and space, condense and merge. There is a co-presence of different eras and events giving the book an unusual richness. Flashbacks and leaps into the present co-exist simultaneously creating a weave not unlike the arabesque intertwining of Arabic ornaments.