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As the bombs plummet through the skies over Baghdad, all Natalia Rodriguez can think about is her long-lost friend, Suheir. Is she still alive?
“WORLDS APART”, a novel, is the story of the unlikely friendship between an Argentinian Catholic girl growing up in Buenos Aires in the 1980s and the Muslim daughter of the Iraqi consul.
Life separates the two girls, who develop in different directions as adults, but never forget their bond. This story, based on true events, is about friendship and tolerance crossing religious and societal boundaries; it is also a passionate love story between two strong-willed people.
Natalia is a successful Argentinian foreign correspondent in New York , covering the US invasion of Iraq. She loves the adrenaline rush she gets from her fast-paced job, and has been willing to sacrifice her personal life for it –until, that is, she meets and falls for Zaid Al-Hadid, an attractive and ambitious Jordanian-Muslim diplomat. Educated and independent, Natalia can’t see herself living in his world, but the sexually-charged attraction she feels for him will make her reconsider her principles and her future.
Witnessing the upheaval in the Middle East, Natalia fears for Suheir's life and attempts to find her friend.
She enlists the help of her American friend, Martin Carter, also a diplomat, who has been in love with her since they met. He is transferred to Baghdad after the invasion and promises to bring a letter to Suheir’s old address.
But the violence in the Iraqi capital and a terrorist attack against the UN will present deadly obstacles.
Author Myriam with her friend Suheir,
who inspired the book.
Meanwhile, Suheir Abdul-Razak, an educated Muslim woman, is caught in the middle of the sectarian violence in her home country. She hopes that after the fall of Saddam’s regime her children will see a better future, especially her two daughters. But a terrifying encounter with drug-addled kidnappers forces her to accept that the only way to survive will be to leave everything behind.
As the international efforts to bring peace and democracy to Iraq fall apart, these childhood friends fear that they may never see each other again.
My first novel, FLOWERS IN THE DUST, was self-published in 2014 and sold to date over 3,000 copies. Since then, I have been actively promoting my book, participating in more than 25 book club discussions in New York and New Jersey, speaking at libraries and women’s organizations, gaining hundreds of followers, and maintaining a presence on social media. FLOWERS ranked number three in the 2014 top ten “New Latino Authors to Watch (and Read)”, by LatinoStories.com.
I was born and raised in Argentina, lived several years in Germany and moved to the US in 1996, at the age of 26. I have been a journalist for 25 years, 12 of these as a foreign correspondent in New York, at the United Nations. I have worked as a freelancer for several Latin publications and covered political, cultural and human interest stories.