Unter dem Sand
On the edge of a mass grave in Hilla, a Shiite town 160 kilometres south of Baghdad, stands Haydar, crippled by grief and pain. He has just found his mother. He knows, he feels, he hopes it is her. It was a Friday, at six in the morning. When the men knocked at the door to collect Haydar’s brother Ali Yassim, his mother wanted to accompany her oldest son. She couldn’t leave him alone; she knew what an interrogation in the police cells meant. What mother would have done any different? It was the last time Haydar saw either of them alive. Then his father left to look for them, and never came back. For 13 years Haydar’s father, mother and older brother disappeared into Saddam’s dungeons, for 13 years Haydar searched for them. Until the Americans came. Until today. Until now.With great compassion, Klaus Brinkbäumer maps out the story of the young Haydar on the search for his family. Brinkbäumer sketches a literary portrait of unprecedented intensity and empathy of a country trampled underfoot. His book is a reflection on the people of Iraq’s unfulfilled desire for the comfort of security and certainty.