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High Tea in Mosul

By Lynne O'Donnell

Iraq, 2003. Three women sit down to tea in the war-torn country.

When Lynne O’Donnell met Pauline and Margaret in Iraq she could never have guessed the wealth of stories she’d discover. Over tea the two women tell Lynne of their lives in the country: each having married Iraqi men had then relocated from England more than thirty years before.

Far more than simply a story of a new life elsewhere, High Tea in Mosul describes how daily life slowly turned into a fight for survival. As war and political tensions slowly tore the country apart, the two women carried on in amongst the chaos. Under Saddam’s regime, peace was lost and the backdrop of ‘violence, terror and dictatorship’ played constantly in the background. Time spent in their adopted homeland slowly became a time spent in isolation, under imposed regulations and sanctions, and shunned by prejudice.

While news screens across the globe played out the latest tragic news for audiences watching from the comfort of their living rooms, High Tea in Mosul brings the reader into the heart of the horror and shows what everyday life was really like for those whose lives were affected irreparably.

One of the first Western journalists in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, Lynne O’Donnell provides a unique insight and first-hand account into a war-torn country, as well as a riveting portrayal of two women’s will against all odds. A story of resilience in its purest form.

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