Saturday, December 8, 2007

Dr. Henry Astarjian on ‘The Struggle for Kirkuk’...

Dr. Henry D. Astarjian recently conducted an interview on the WNPR radio program “Where We Live” about Iraq and his new book “The Struggle for Kirkuk: The Rise of Hussein, Oil, and the Death of Tolerance in Iraq.” Dr. Astarjian was a columnist when I was at the Armenian Weekly, and his personal account of Iraq is colorful, insightful, and informative.

Dr. Astarjian explores the social and political dynamics in Iraq before the rise of Saddam Hussein. His personal memoir reveals the turmoil of life under Communism and his experience as a political prisoner in a death row cell in Iraq.

He gives an eyewitness view of the history of Iraq through the life of one of its most volatile towns, from the perspective of a citizen who witnessed death, kidnapping, corruption, political indoctrination, and open murder in the streets, writes the publisher Praeger Security International.

"The Struggle for Kirkuk" is the story of the diversity of Kirkuk, where colonial Britains, Kurds, Turkomans, Assyrians, Jews, and Armenians all lived together. The book also explores the influences that the British, through the Iraq Petroleum Company, had in shaping Iraqi society.