Nuha al-Radi

Nuha al-Radi, detail of a work in a 2002 exhibition in Amman

Writing in "Baghdad Diaries," about the first gulf war and its aftermath, the Iraqi artist and writer, Nuha al-Radi lamented:

The birds have taken the worst beating of all. They have sensitive souls, which cannot take all this hideous noise and vibration. All the caged lovebirds have died from the shock of the blasts, while birds in the wild fly upside down and do crazy somersaults. Hundreds, if not thousands, have died in the orchard. Lonely survivors fly about in a distracted fashion.
Ms. Radi died last week in Beirut. The birds, Iraq and the entire world will miss the wry wit of this great soul.

She seems to have belonged to no one party or culture, but rather to all humanity. The NYTimes obituary describes her as "not overtly political." Certainly no friend of Saddam Hussein's regime, at the same time she saw no great virtue in the destruction wrought by his nemesis:

She was somewhat less than enchanted with Iraq's latest overseers for failing to provide basic security and services, however, describing the new tenants of the presidential compound in an interview with The Times last year in her typically caustically droll manner:

"America is in its ivory tower palace," she said, "We are used to having coups and revolutions. But usually people who stage them take over the country

[image from 4 Walls]