Rageh Omaar reported from Iraq for six years prior to the conflict in 2003. He evaded the official minders to meet ordinary Iraqis, finding out how they lived under Saddam's brutal regime. Then war came, and instead of retreating he chose to stay in Baghdad, to see firsthand the country he loved crumble beneath the Allied onslaught. His shocking account of the years of siege, of the war that followed and its terrifying fallout is a heartbreaking and fascinating testament to a people enduring deprivation and destruction, told by the man who was there before, during and after.
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Rageh Omaar was born in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1967 and lived there until he was six. He began his journalistic career in the Africa service of the BBC World Service. In 2000 he was awarded a Prix Bayeux award for his coverage of the Ethiopia-Eritrea War and from 2001 to 2003 he was BBC TV News Africa correspondent, based in Johannesburg. In 2002 he was the only western television reporter with the Taliban in Kabul when the city fell, and his reports helped the BBC win a Royal Television Society award for the coverage of the fall of Kabul. He lives in London with his wife and two children. He is currently at work on a memoir about the war in Somalia.
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