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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (57 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Shant Kenderian Narrator: Jason Collins Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Shant Kenderian’s visit to Baghdad in 1980 at age seventeen was supposed to be short, just long enough to make peace with his estranged father before returning home to the United States. But Saddam Hussein invaded Iran and sealed off Iraq’s borders to every man of military age—including Kenderian. Suddenly forced onto the frontlines, he saw his two-week visit turn into a nightmare that lasted for ten years.

Kenderian miraculously survived the Iran-Iraq War and Desert Storm, the minefields, sinking boats, fires, starvation, heavy interrogation, and solitary confinement. What broke him in the end was his love affair with a female soldier named Monica. Yet throughout his ordeal, he never lost his respect for people, his faith in God, or his sense of humor. His story is a unique look into a country and a culture only hinted at in the headlines.

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Quotes & Awards

  • 1001 Nights in Iraq rivals anything in the fantastic tales narrated by Scheherazade. But Kenderian’s story is true, making it all the more astonishing 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

  • “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

  • “Kenderian’s harrowing experiences are recorded in careful detail, offering a compelling portrait of a nightmarish time…Collins gamely inhabits the grim world of 1980s Iraq.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Strangely compelling memoir by a self-described ‘man without a country’…The splendidly preposterous facts overwhelm any infirmities in the telling of this amazing personal history.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Amy Tannenbaum | 9/17/2013

    " Shant's story is incredible...stranger than fiction. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Ken Marlow | 7/24/2013

    " Militarily Saddam was a fool and cared for no one but his own family. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Genevieve | 9/9/2012

    " Very interesting! I wasn't really sure I would get into it at first, but by the end I felt like I knew Shant personally. As a christian, I was also inspired by his faith throughout the story. The only thing I want to know is... what happened to Monica?!! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Damon | 6/18/2012

    " An interesting story told by a so-so storyteller. "

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About the Author

Shant Kenderian immigrated to the United States at the age of fifteen with his mother. He has earned several degrees, including a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from John Hopkins University. He currently works for The Aerospace Corporation in the Los Angeles area, where he lives with his wife and three children.

About the Narrator

Jason Collins has been seen on numerous stages in the Northwest, including the Seattle Shakespeare Company, Seattle Children’s Theatre, and Seattle Repertory Theatre. He is the recipient of three prestigious Footlight Awards.