WEFOUNDThe Gardener of Baghdad


Two people, one city, different times; connected by a memoir. Can love exist in a city destined for decades of misery? Adnan leads a weary existence as a bookshop owner in modern-day, war-torn Baghdad, where bombings, corruption and assault are everyday occurrences and the struggle to survive has suffocated the joy out of life for most. But when he begins to clean out his bookshop of forty years to leave his city in search of somewhere safer, he comes across the story of Ali, the Gardener of Baghdad. Adnan rediscovers through a memoir handwritten by the gardener decades ago that beauty, love and hope can still exist, even in the darkest corners of the world.

Ahmad Ardalan was born in Baghdad in 1979. At the age of two, he moved with his parents to Vienna, Austria, where he spent most of his childhood and underwent his primary studies. After his father’s diplomatic mission finished at the end of 1989, he returned to Iraq, where he continued his studies and graduated from the University of Dentistry. As a result of the unstable political, military, soci...

Just 3 pantry staples turn fresh okra into a deliciously golden, nutty side dish or snack. This roasted okra recipe is simple, quick, and delicious.

I remember the first time I came across fresh okra at my local Farmers Market. I had always kind of shied away from cooking with, or even eating, okra because I was afraid it would be slimy and unappetizing.

As a side note – someone commented on my okra post over on Instagram with her grandma from Baghdad’s method for making sure okra doesn’t get slimy – she said the key is to lay it out in the sun for 4 hours. Interesting tip! I wonder how much New York sun equals 4 hours in Baghdad? 😉

Two people, one city, different times; connected by a memoir. Can love exist in a city destined for decades of misery? Adnan leads a weary existence as a bookshop owner in modern-day, war-torn Baghdad, where bombings, corruption and assault are everyday occurrences and the struggle to survive has suffocated the joy out of life for most. But when he begins to clean out his bookshop of forty years to leave his city in search of somewhere safer, he comes across the story of Ali, the Gardener of Baghdad. Adnan rediscovers through a memoir handwritten by the gardener decades ago that beauty, love and hope can still exist, even in the darkest corners of the world.

Ahmad Ardalan was born in Baghdad in 1979. At the age of two, he moved with his parents to Vienna, Austria, where he spent most of his childhood and underwent his primary studies. After his father’s diplomatic mission finished at the end of 1989, he returned to Iraq, where he continued his studies and graduated from the University of Dentistry. As a result of the unstable political, military, soci...


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