The Flying Carpet of Small Miracles
Zahra, age three, and Hawra, only a few months old, were the only survivors of a missile strike in Baghdad in 2003 that killed their parents and five siblings. Across the world, in London, foreign correspondent Hala Jaber was preparing to head to Iraq to cover the emerging war. After ten years spent trying to conceive, Jaber and her husband had finally resigned themselves to a childless future. Now she intended to bury her grief in her work, with some unusually dangerous reporting. Once in Iraq, though, Jaber found herself drawn again and again to stories of mothers and children, a path that led her to an Iraqi children's hospital and to Zahra and Hawra and their heart-wrenching story. Almost instantly Jaber became entwined in the lives of these girls, and in a struggle to advocate on their behalf that reveals far more about the human cost of war than any news bulletin ever could.
UK Macmillan: The Flying Carpet To Baghdad
US Riverhead: The Flying Carpet Of Small Miracles
Canada - Penguin Canada
Finland - Tammi
Holland - Luitingh Sijthoff
Italy - Rizzoli - La Bambina sur Tappe to Volante
Israel - Abayit Books
Norway - Versal
Spain - Roca Editorial
Portugal - Civilzacao
Thailand - Sanskrit Co Ltd
Coratia - Ljevak
Hezbollah: Born With a Vengeance
Fourth Estate - UK
Columbia University Press - USA
"It is essential that we learn from other cultures. Recounting the traumas of war and sacrificed innocence in The Flying Carpet of Small Miracles, Hala Jaber brings us into this other world in a way that enlightens our understanding of ourselves. A moving and sober book; to be read and considered thoughtfully."
author of The Swallows of Kabul
"The beauty, courage and drama of this book absolutely floored me. Jaber finds compassion in war, love in grief and a way to mother despite childlessness. The Flying Carpet offers vital perspective on contemporary womenâ€™s choices and reminds us there are myriad paths to a creative, meaningful, generative life."
author of Waiting for Daisy
"Powerful. Unforgettable. Hala Jaber paints heart-breaking portraits of children and families who have lost a great deal, some everything, during the Iraq war. She takes us into the lives of fearless, selfless journalists, volunteer workers, and doctors, who try at great risk to themselves to help these devastated people. Jaber's own quest to adopt two orphan children weaves through the narrative with moving detail, providing an extra, personal dimension. She brings us close to deep desires, tragedies, as well as fulfillment."
author of Persian Girls
"From the midst of rubble and ash in Baghdad, Hala Jaber tells of the devastation of war, of families wiped out and of survivors agony and pain. However Jaber's account also shows us a ray of hope through the person of Hawra, an Iraqi orphan who has lost her parents and six siblings. Told through the eyes of a journalist and written from the passion of a woman yearning to raise a family, Jaber's account is not only the personal journey of a remarkable woman but also a worthy testimony to the suffering of a people."
author of Prisoner of Tehran
"Few women will have faced or chosen the conditions and traumas that Jaber has, but many women will understand how ferociously stretched and torn she feels. Personally moving and politically thought-provoking, Jaber's book stares down war and insists on hope."
author of Best Friends and Sometimes Mine
"Jaber maps the ancient roads of the human heart, where a childless woman longs for a baby of her own and embraces Baghdad's smallest victims instead. The result is a unique and haunting tale. Family, finally, is those who love us, and those we choose to love."
Melissa Fay Greene
author of Praying for Sheetrock and There is No Me Without You
"A sweetly sentimental story, full of the kind of heart-rending scenes of promises, separation, reunion and heartbreak that would do a Hallmark Channel afternoon film proud. I read the book in one sitting and confess I cried more than once... The final resolution could be a metaphor for the new, more realistic relationship between the allies and Iraq; there is no miracle of western intervention and, ultimately, Iraqis will have to solve their problems in their own way. It is hard to save a country, even harder to save an individual and, sometimes, most difficult of all to try and save yourself. Jaber's story doesn't tie it all up with a neat pink ribbon, but it is all the more telling and universal for that. Sometimes, all you can do is your best."
"If there is one book which stands as evidence of the simple human cost of the Iraq war, it is Hala Jaber's "Flying Carpet to Baghdad". Jaber is a brave war correspondent, a canny British journalist but also a profoundly motherly woman. Her personal journey and genuine grief are told sparingly and unflinchingly, without sentimentality or self-pity and with a rare degree of feeling for the orphans and the dispossessed of Iraq. This book will stand when others are forgotten".
Presenter of Radio 4 Midweek program.