The Flying Carpet of Small Miracles

A Woman's Fight to Save Two Orphans

By Hala Jaber
(Riverhead Hardcover, Hardcover, 9781594488672, 288pp.)

Publication Date: May 28, 2009

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the July 2009 Indie Notables
“Through her clear and expressive writing, Hala Jaber shares not only the sights, sounds, and horror of the war in Iraq but also her conflicting emotions -- sorrow and joy, triumph and defeat, exhilaration and exhaustion -- as her search through war-torn Baghdad for war orphans turns into a desperate search for the child she could never conceive. A real-life thriller that will keep you on the edge of your chair.”
-- Gary Colliver, Windows on the World-Books & Art, Mariposa, CA


The inspiring true story of a prizewinning foreign correspondent longing for a child, two small Iraqi girls in need of a mother, and what love and grief can teach us about family and hope.

Zahra, age three, and Hawra, only a few months old, were the only survivors of a missile strike in Baghdad in 2003 that killed their parents and five siblings. Across the world, in London, foreign correspondent Hala Jaber was preparing to head to Iraq to cover the emerging war. After ten years spent trying to conceive, Jaber and her husband had finally resigned themselves to a childless future. Now she intended to bury her grief in her work, with some unusually dangerous reporting. Once in Iraq, though, Jaber found herself drawn again and again to stories of mothers and children, a path that led her to an Iraqi children's hospital-and to Zahra and Hawra and their heart-wrenching story. Almost instantly Jaber became entwined in the lives of these girls, and in a struggle to advocate on their behalf that reveals far more about the human cost of war than any news bulletin ever could.

Beautifully written and deeply moving, The Flying Carpet of Small Miracles presents a genuinely fresh insight and perspective from a woman who, as an Arab living and working in the West, is able to uniquely straddle both worlds. In its attention to the emotional experiences of women and children whose lives are irrevocably changed by war, Jaber's story offers hope for redemption for those caught in its cross fires.

About the Author

Hala Jaber´┐Żwas born in West Africa and grew up in Lebanon, where her family still lives. She is the author of the memoir The Flying Carpet of Small Miracles. She began her journalistic career in the Press Association bureau in Beirut. Twice named Foreign Reporter of the Year at the British Press Awards, in 2005 and 2006, she has been honored by Amnesty International and in 2007 won the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism.

Conversation Starters from


  1. Every parent knows the excruciating feeling of helplessness that arises when a child is sick or injured. If you were an Iraqi parent, would you have been able to trust your child to a British subject like Jaber or an American like Marla given their nations’ roles in the war? 

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