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Shant Kenderian's visit to Baghdad in 1980, at age seventeen, was supposed to be a short one -- just enough time to make peace with his estranged father before returning to his home in the United States. But then Saddam Hussein invaded Iran and sealed off Iraq's borders to every man of military age -- including Shant. Suddenly forced onto the front lines, his two-week visit turned into a nightmare that lasted for ten years.
"1001 Nights in Iraq" presents a human story that provides unique insight into a country and culture that we only get a hint of in the headlines. After surviving the horrors of the Iran-Iraq War, Shant was then forced to fight on the front lines of Desert Storm without being given the proper equipment, including a gun, but miraculously survived to be captured by the Americans and become a POW. He underwent starvation, heavy interrogations, and solitary confinement, but what broke him in the end was his love affair with a female American soldier. Yet throughout this whole ordeal, Shant never lost his respect for people, his faith in God, or his sense of humor.