Shant Kenderian was a schoolboy in Baghdad, growing up in the Armenian Christian community there. His parents divorced, and in 1978, at age 14, he chose to emigrate to America with his mother and brother. Just before his 17th birthday, he returned to visit his father in Baghdad, arriving on Sept. 14, 1980. One week later, Iraq invaded Iran, the borders were closed and Shant was trapped. His father died soon after in a car accident and he would not see America again for more than 10 years.
Shant continued his education and earned a degree in Engineering. Upon graduating he was forced to join the military where he served until the end of the war. While he reapplied to the US Embassy to have his Green Card status renewed, war broke out again. Desert Storm had begun and Shant was conscripted into Saddam's navy. After being dropped on the front lines without a weapon, his ship was commanded to sail through a body of water littered with mines that they had been ordered to drop earlier that day. When his ship inevitably blew up, he miraculously lived to then survive an American air raid. Shant's situation was so absurdly precarious that his only hope was to be captured by American troops. He waved a white cloth in the air and became an American POW. So begins 1001 Nights In Iraq....
"Kenderian writes matter-of-factly, with the stoicism of someone who has endured the seemingly unendurable. But his story is mind-blowing enough to keep you turning the pages." -- Entertainment Weekly "We put Shant on our show because his story was human scale, in a way a lot of the daily news from Iraq can't be."
--Ira Glass, host and producer of public radio's and Showtime's "This American Life" "If it were only a war story it would be riveting. If it were only a love story it would be profoundly moving. And if it were only the story of a man never losing hope in the face of bureaucracy, bigotry and bad luck -- it would be an inspiration. But, it is all of those things and a good deal more. Shant Kenderian has returned to us from hell with a message of hope." -- Scott Z. Burns, producer of An Inconvenient Truth "Shant Kenderian takes us on an emotional journey that is both tormented and complex and, in the process, establishes an important context through which we can view today's Iraqi conflicts. What a ride!" -- Liz Balmaseda, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist "Only a man of great courage and resilience could have survived such a harrowing ordeal. And only a storyteller of extraordinary talent could have related it with such humanity, grace, and humor." -- Andrew Carroll, New York Times bestselling editor of War Letters and Behind the Lines
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 5th June 2007
Publisher: Atria Books
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.4 x 14.0
Weight (kg): 0.3
Edition Number: 1