Is Riverbend OK?

Riverbend has not posted on her blog since October 22, 2007.  Writing from Syria she detailed life as a refugee in a foreign country.

Since then her Baghdad Burning blog has gone silent.  No more insightful commentary about the day-to-day struggles of an Iraqi family after the American invasion and occupation.

Her voice is missed as Bush-McCain & Co start beating the war drums for yet another invasion, this time in Iraq’s much larger neighbor Iran.

At the same time I worry that Riverbend and her family have suffered some catastrophe as the result of seeking refuge in Syria.  Are they OK?  How can we know?  The chaos of war and the surging tide of refugees that come in its wake continue.  Riverbend and her family have become a marker for me of the course of the American disaster in Iraq.  As their fortunes go, so goes the fate of hundreds, thousands and perhaps millions of other Iraqis.

We can only hope and pray that Riverbend and her family are safe somewhere.

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111 Comments on “Is Riverbend OK?”


  1. […] Here’s one. Another. Another. Odd how a blogger with such a high profile, once awol, seems forgotten by all but a few. But not by all. […]

  2. Jim Watson Says:

    I, too, google Riverbend now and again to see if there is any news. I wonder if she was in touch with her publisher. Life in Syria was very difficult for the refugees, but perhaps she was able to get to Europe through that connection. I suspect we will hear from her again at some point, but to Riverbend I want to say: We thank you for courageously reporting from Baghdad as you did, and our concern for you is also an expression of our sorrow for the suffering of the Iraqi people.

  3. jarvenpa Says:

    I hope she is safe. In my small town I am asked often if I know anything about her now. I trust that her publisher would tell the world if something dire had happened–but these times are so fragile.
    Riverbend, you touched so many, with your clarity and truth. We hope you are well and will write again when you are able.

  4. k. Says:

    Got here looking (googling) for her… It strikes me the most the little attention her silence is receiving. Please, update if you find out something new.

    We need her voice.

  5. pg Says:

    I agree with k’s comment. Why is the media so silent about her disappearance?

    My feeling is that she tried to come back to Iraq and may have run into trouble in Baghdad. They would not be able to work in Syria because of restrictions placed on immigrants.

    It’s interesting to hear George Bush say he will be sending relief supplies to Georgia. How many relief supplies has he sent to the millions of displaced Iraqi’s?

  6. James Says:

    I also got here by Googling “RIVERBEND, where is she?”

    It must be in the ether, thoughts of concern for her. (I see the several posts just days apart).

    Its hard to believe cyberspace is SO silent on asking after her….she was a little beacon of truth burning brightly through the shroud of well-kept sustained global ignorance.

    I hope she is alive and well. I miss her thoughts and think of her often.

    • Kristine Says:

      As do I. Her book was so insightful and we need to learn what it is like on the “other side”, since our news is so censored.
      Riverbend, please know we are all worried about you and need to know if you are alright.

  7. Quin Says:

    I’ve always found the Riverbend posts to be factual in that they originate from someone in Iraq. Wow, a secular perspective from an actual citizen who lives in the country. Who knew? There’s actually people there.

    Sumac. If you’re in the mood for dim dark humor, check out the Riverbend recipies and the crazy posts about sumac poisoning. Democracy, pah. Freedom, eh. Greed, probably. Cheap oil for the west, sure. An intellegent geopolitical move by the United States, not really.

    At this point, there’s no solution but painful, painful struggle. And as usual, the unfortunate pay the heaviest price.

    “From [insert colonising country] we can expect nothing but ruin. If she is … admitted to the government of [Iraq] … [Iraq] will not be worth living in. Jealousies will be always arising; insurrections will be constantly happening; and who will go forth to quell them? Who will venture his life to reduce his own countrymen to a foreign obedience?”

    American patriots, your challenge is to find the text the above quote comes from.

    Then use your common sense to get out of an unethical war.

    Riverbend, we need you to post. I want to meet you on the other side of that river. Around the bend…

  8. Kathryn Says:

    I’ve also been wondering and worrying about Riverbend. Her blog was so revealing of what many suspected.

    Riverbend, I hope you, your family and friends are okay. Let us know!

  9. Katharine Says:

    Let me just add my voice to the one of everyone else who is worried about Riverbend’s fate. One would think she would write if she could, just to let us all know she’s ok, and not in prison or, you know…

  10. Jamie Says:

    I have also been searching for any recent news on Riverbend. It is troubling to think her voice may have been quieted. Come back to us…

  11. Cindy Says:

    I, too have been looking for and about her since last October. I pray she and her family are okay. It was good to find this site and read your comments and concern.
    I hope she comes back soon.

  12. stephanie Says:

    I came here after searching for her today, too.

  13. Seth Says:

    I can’t believe she’s still MIA, is this the longest now that she’s gone without posting? Where in the world is she? I hate the idea something could have happened to her and someone who has written such amazing stuff has ended up some faceless nameless casualty and we’d never know

  14. Angela Jackson-Brown Says:

    I am a teacher and I have required my students to read her blog. Often, I will get an email from former students wanting to know if I know what happened to her. I really wish that her voice would have reached mainstream more. She offers a perspective that sadly no one else is providing.

  15. Simon Says:

    Yes, I too found myself here amongst you all looking for any news of Riverbend. I can hardly believe it is a whole year since her last blog. Maybe she thought that once in Syria her blog had reached its natural conclusion. Lets hope that is the case and that she is safe and well somewhere. Still, like many others… I’ll keep checking up hoping that we may get some more insights.

  16. xamaxzebi Says:

    I have been regularly checking Rverbend’s blog, in the hope that one day she will update us all with a post. But it has been over a year. I trust that she is somewhere, ok and thriving, and that our only loss is that we do not have an insight into her life anymore.

    Come back Riverbend. I wish you well.

  17. Alan Says:

    I’m relieved to see that I am not the only one wondering what happened to Riverbend and checking her blog regularly. In fact, I did not realize her blog was so well known and published in the form of books, gaining prizes, etc. Like those who posted here previously, it is difficult to understand why there is such a silence about her, unless it is perhaps for security reasons. Since after she moved to Syria, it seemed that the Syrian government was clamping down on Iraqi refugees and that they had no right to work, I was wondering how she and her family could survive there. I also thought that perhaps, since the situation in Iraq was supposed to have improved a little, she might come back. However, she seemed to have no great affection for Prime minister Maliki to put it mildly. Should we try to get the press to investigate her whereabouts?

  18. emandeli Says:

    I have on and off googled riverbend as I wonder what happened to her. I hope that she and her family is okay and that we will hear from her soon. Over a year has past already. Definitely need an investigation. I don’t think she would up and quit her blogging.

  19. Zaie Says:

    where is riverbend today?

  20. Tahria Says:

    I also have been checking about once every couple of weeks for the last year, hoping that a new post will go up, and worrying about what might have become of Riverbend. It was such a refreshing perspective to hear from a regular, real person on the inside of all of that, without a media or political spin on every piece of information that comes out of Iraq.

    I hope that she turns up soon… if she can… we would all love to hear from her. What I also find curious is that when you google “riverbend”, there are many entries from 2006 when people were concerned because she disappeared for only 3 months. And how, for 12 months, and hardly a whisper. Why would that be?

  21. David Says:

    The best lead I can think of would be her book publisher. Has anyone heard them say anything recently?

  22. Pavi T Says:

    Its heartening to see so many are deeply concerned about a person who has touched us with her words, with her courage, with her honest representation of events. I have been visiting her blog in hope of reading some news that puts my mind to rest. I have been worrying about her and her family’s safety like that of a close friend or relative. its amazing how an unknown, faceless person could have touched so many of our hearts. I hope she and her family are doing fine and that this hiatus is just temporary, if long.

  23. womanwholovespeace Says:

    It has now been 13 months. I do hope that Riverbend is well and that she and her family have found some peace wherever they are. As one can see from all the postings she is in the hearts and minds of many.

  24. Tricia Says:

    I, too, found myself suddenly wondering what became of Riverbend. She touched so many of us! I hope that she was able to see Barack Obama’s acceptance speech and to know that many of us hope that she will soon be able to go “home”. Peace be with you, Riverbend, wherever you are!

  25. Moiz Divan Says:

    I like all of you guys got here googleing her…………..I thought i was one of a priviliged few that read her work. She has truly touched us with her insight to the atrocities in her country. I hope that she is alright.

    god bless her

  26. Susan Says:

    I wrote to her in the early days of the blog, telling her about my nine year old son’s reaction to what he watched on TV, dumbfounded, the morning of 9/11. That was the morning he stopped feeling safe. For a long time after, he put a “lucky marble” in his pants pocket before he left for school each day. When I mentioned finding the marble, day after day, in his pants pocket, he told me he did that to keep terrorists from blowing his school up. It was hard to know that his sense of security in this world had been shattered.

    I told her that as an American, I was ashamed that our president had drawn a line between that event and her country, somehow linking what happened here to Iraq. I urged her to understand that most Americans were not in favor of the occupation of her country. She did reply, and looking back was more gracious than she had to be, given that she was living in hell on earth, and children there faced imminent danger every moment, while my own only lived in the country that had engaged hers in war.

    I worried when a month would go by without a post on the blog. I was always so relieved when she finally posted. Now I find myself, having woken in the middle of the night, worrying about her again. I am going to try to link to other blogs and hope I can find out. This young woman, more than any other soul on Earth, did so much to open eyes around the world to the plight of her people. God bless her, I hope she’s safe.

  27. Mira Says:

    I, too, have wondered about Riverbend and have grown increasingly concerned. I’m glad I’m not the only one, but I would be far gladder still, to hear some word that the “Anne Frank of Baghdad” is well. Riverbend, blog or not as you wish, but please be still among us.

  28. Keith Says:

    I too wonder and worry about what has happened to her. Her blog is bookmarked amongst the other blogs I read. Frequently I clear out links to old blogs whose owners have stopped updating yet I can’t bring myself to remove hers. I hope against hope every time that I check it there somehow there will be an update from her.

    Contacting her publisher is a really good idea. I’ll do some research and see if I can find a contact there who may know something.

  29. Hoyt Says:

    I cry inside for Riverbend as I know she’s gone. Gone as in forever removed. Her rending reports were surely noticed by those promoting the war.

    So she’s gone.

    There is a new one as there always is. The truth rises and its new author is Laila. Maybe as fine a writer as Riverbend.

    Find her and enjoy.

  30. tana carpenter Says:

    Here I am; one more person looking for Riverbend. While I too worry, I think she may have found her place to end Baghdad Burning. I find it comforting that she has touched so many hearts. It is funny how even though none of us knows her, or even her name, we share genuine and heart-felt concern for her. In a way I do feel as if I have lost a friend. I pray that she and her family are safe and happy. Peace to all who read this.

  31. Jim Says:

    I too have checked Riverbend’s blog regularly, in the hope that a new post would be there, and that somehow she would be there too. Today I googled her, hoping that she was somewhere else, under a new name, in a new place. I can only hope now that she is safe somewhere. She seemed to come from a family of some influence, so perhaps she is alive. Yet her silence feels ominous. If there is ever any hope to end such suffering, surely the internet and the contact it gives with the reality of war are sources of hope, as emails and blogs break national barriers; but when I look at people like Bush, and when I remember how popular Bush’s war was in the US, even if they all pretend differently, I truly despair, just as I do when Riverbend is not there posting anymore. The world need voices such as Riverbend’s so that someday people of different religions, nationalities and races can create some peace in the world. It is a slim hope….

  32. Keith Says:

    Add me to the list of those concerned about her.

  33. Sam Says:

    I am worried about her, I have been checking her blog regularly. If anyone finds anything about her please please post back here. I hope she is ok!

  34. Mari Utrilla Says:

    Does anyone have her publisher’s contact info? It is odd and disturbing that there is no follow up on her disappearance.

  35. Emma Says:

    I’d hope a bit of googling would lead to some answers as to her whereabouts, but it seems we’re all as clueless as the next person.

    I often think about her, and all the millions of Iraqi citizens she represents just trying to get on with their daily lives surrounded by the madness of violence and fear.

    I wonder how long it will be before we find out what’s happened to her.

  36. Ruthie Says:

    I too came here in my quest to find her. I first heard of her by finding her book displayed in a small town library in Australia and then came to the internet for more. And I, as well, have been occasionally searching to see if there is any update. I pray she is safe and that she has kept on writing, even though we haven’t been able to find it ~ perhaps some day. If she only knew how many people want to know of her welfare. There must be a way to find her. Peace to all ~

  37. Riverbend Reader Says:

    Perhaps contacting salampax.wordpress or raedinthemiddle may help us locate her. They were all blogging at the same time once. Perhaps they know something about her???

  38. B Says:

    I too is very worried that something bad has happend to her, I hope not, I hope that she’s safe, and that we’ll hear from her soon. But what worries me the most is the silens in the media about her!! she really was the true voice of Iraq.

  39. enough Says:

    I’m thinking of her tonight. I hope she is somewhere safe. Her voice has been so important. I hope she will, one day, blog again.

  40. M in Flagstaff Says:

    Damn, I haven’t checked in a few months and was hoping against hope that someone somewhere knew something about Riverbend, that she and family were safe somewhere. I’ve spent the evening googling and wound up here, just as perplexed and worried as everyone else about her seeming disappearance, and at the strange and very loud silence.

  41. SW Says:

    I got here looking for her too. Just wanted to voice my concern.

    I hope she’s ok and keep her in my thoughts and prayers.

  42. Mark Says:

    I also found my way here looking for her. I miss riverbend and hope she and her family are safe. I have a sense of dread that something has happened to her, the silence is ominus. The horror pain and sorrow she was experiencing echoed around the world through her blog. I hope beyond hope that she hasn’t been silenced!! I trust that one day we will be able to meet her around the bend my friends where our hearts can heal and our souls can mend.

  43. Leo Says:

    It seems strange nobody seems to find any information, there are lots of Western employees in both Iraq and Syria,maybe one can mail them for local assistance. allthough communication in Syria might be difficult one would say a phonecall or short message might be possible.

  44. Megan Says:

    Like others I googled riverbend to find out if there was any news. The silence is unsettling but there could be so many reasons for it, not all of them bad. Presumably her publisher knows where she is and how she is. As the old adage goes “No news is good news”, in this case that is the best we can hope for, and that riverbend and her loved ones are safe and well.

  45. becky Says:

    And a long while later. Seems no one knows what happened to Riverbend. History rolls on, and I’m thinking we’ll never know. For me she was the heart connection, same age as my own daughter, so brave and articulate and just so very young.
    Well. Round the bend. Sigh.

  46. stu Piddy Says:

    Maybe the Americans have decided that she or members of her family needed to be interrogated.

    Maybe Iraq OBama felt she needed to be rendered. Obama seems to enjoy doing everything Bush did.

    Maybe the American don’t want people like her around. People who say things like “Sunnis and Shiites got along fine before the Americans came”. The Americans don’t want anyone to know that.

    It says a lot too, about the so called “progressives” who only like to listen to themselves speak, that there would be no interest in losing a valuable voice “on the ground”.

    She has a publicist…I imagine they might know something.

    I hope she’s well….it doesn’t sound like it though. She may very well have gotten lost in the system of refugees and become a “nobody”.

    Even the star of Slumdog millionaire …you’d think there would be some outrage on how this boy and the two other stars of the film were treated by Danny Boyle…..one of the boys just had his house torn down in the slums by the government….they paid him 1500 for the film, took him to the oscars, flew him back to his slum and left him there. He’s used for show….

    America and Britain are Predators.

    She is a victim of that predation.

  47. Vicky Chapman Says:

    Just adding another voice expressing concern for Riverbend & her family.

    She may well have suffered the fate of many other Iraqi refugees, the only difference between her and all the other ‘faceless’ people was that she had the skills and the guts to publish what was going on.

    She was a light in a very dark place.

  48. coneco Says:

    Just another one on the lookout for Riverbend’s safe return. I wish nothing but good luck to her and for all her family & friends.

  49. Dan in Oakland Says:

    Another Riverbend fan. I look for news on her every few months and am beginning to despair. I hope she is ok.

  50. Helga Says:

    Riverbend, if you are able to read this and all the other mails, please, let us know you are well! You gave us a glimpse of your life, let us be with you, feel with you, suffer with you, get very upset about your and your country’s situation, if that is possible sitting comfortably at the computer in a free country! My prayers are with you. I miss your beautiful and intelligent writing very much. Please, be well……


  51. I keep searching for Riverbend in hope that I’d find her, but to no avail. Riverbend was a fixture in my life and the lives of many. It is breaking my heart to be clueless of her welfare! I keep rereading her posts over and over so I do not allow myself to forget a person who one day meant so much.
    I still treasure an e-mail reply that she’d sent me in 2004, and reread it with my anquish…
    We love you Rever, and that you must know.
    May Allah bless you

  52. Tobey Llop Says:

    I treasure two replies I got from Riverbend in the days when I’d write to thank her for shining so much light in and on the darkness spread by the Western Empire in which I was born. I found this thread when thinking of her, read a bunch and skipped over a year of posts to where here, on July 11, of 2009 I see I’m not alone in wishing her and hers well, sending them love, whether they’re in this world or the next.
    But, Riverbend, dear one, if you read this, as Rumi would counsel us, there is no death to Soul, ever, and true lovers of truth are never separated from the Heart of God, and therefore not from each other in spirit no matter how much space or time or custom or the follies of human power would make it seem so. Though we may never meet in this world, I take heart knowing God’s love sustains us all unflinchingly. If and when you again grace us with the mirror you hold so beautifully to the world, our hearts will be glad.
    Still yours,
    Tobey

  53. rs Says:

    I too am desperate to hear Riverbend and her family are well. If any one knows anything please let us know.

    Riverbend – you words mean more than I can try to describe and today mean as much as the first time I read you blog

    May Allah look after you and your family.

    AH
    R

  54. Bashar Says:

    I miss her so much. When she spoke, it was like a sister to me. 😦

    I really hope she’s alright, and can’t imagine why she hasn’t posted anything in so long. Hopeful, but realistic. I really hope she’s out there, surviving in her own way.

    Hugs to you, Riverbend. Come back soon.

  55. Umer Says:

    Riverbend… 😦

    we miss you a lot… where are you… I hope you are fine…

    it will be three years when we last heard from you. i hope and pray that you are fine.

    stay strong please.

  56. David Stein Says:

    I dropped by Riverbend’s site today, as I do about once every four months, to check for updates. Nothing, as always.

    I then did a quick Google search and found this page. But this appears to be the only location where anyone has expressed any concern for her disappearance.

    I, like all of you, wonder where she has gone. Certainly, bloggers often drift away from weblogs without leaving an explanation, due to waning interests or second thoughts about the propriety of public writing. But in Riverbend’s case, this vanishing is troubling because of the deep impact she’s had on so many of us.

    I know that I will continue checking her weblog periodically and hoping for a return, even though it seems wildly unlikely after 30 months of silence. But I remain hopeful.

  57. Jerry from Virginia, USA Says:

    I have found Riverbend. She is in my heart. She is safe there. I may not find here elsewhere. But is is at peace there. May it be always be so. May those she touched continue to carry her. Let it be.

    Jerry

    May the next person you meet see compassion in your eyes.

  58. Boaana from the Hague, Netherlands Says:

    i am glad i am being one of her soulmates family. i think of her and she appears in he tear drops of my eyes. i wrote to her few year ago, maybe in 2008, sent her a poem deicated to her. never received a respond. i feel her within myself, i share the poem with you:
    a shadow is a reflection not more than of the Sun’s rays, but off a lamp in a room or down a lonesome road .. as long as a woman can hold herself up with the companionship of allah, she is not alone as if these has been taken away from her ..
    where can such a place be, who is the woman ?

    a mother whose child has faded away into eternity

    ********

    i am life that flourished out of a tear of allah and flows within
    unspeakable truth i am life that has sprung from a drop off a heaven’s arch
    and sinks into its infinity as dew drunk by thirsty soil i am life that has sprouted
    out of thy tear and traces it sliding a path endlessly leaving i am life that has flourished
    by a serenity of thy idea i am sketching a rainbow of my name
    i am life cried by unrest of allah i amjoy of thy surveillance
    a shadow to the allmightyness a track to the clairvoyance
    a remain to the self-complacency i am life bred by the sky
    as it cries fresh into a daybreak i am life that has sprung out of thy tear
    i am one that is each nevertheless none taking a passage through heaven
    i am life that burst out of one tear drop i am daughter of paradise
    and a furrow of these fuddled by own sweetness, its heavenly grace,
    a persisted oblivion, unforgivable dispair – i am life walked in and out and
    throughout that bursts within itself as a tear drop hits
    sketching own redemption i am a drop that falls and mildness of a palm desired
    mellows the slam beating hard and the confession, thy living truth,
    the untestified i am life shaped like a tree by harshness of its curves sounded
    by rustle of the leaves ribbed coloured by fading – its inevitable cascading
    i am life unavoidable given i am thy daring joy //
    (devoted to Baghdad Burning blogger, spring-autumn 2006)

  59. Andrew Says:

    Like all of you I have been occasionally logging in to see if Riverbend would start broadcasting again.
    I feel confident that one day if we all keep looking and reporting anything we find here on this thread we will find something out.
    Its nice to see how she touched so many in such similar ways across all faiths and all borders. Maybe governments could learn from this.
    Kind regards to you all.
    Andrew

  60. Boaana Says:

    touched? we were witnessing the most awful crimes happening on Earth ever!! and if a person as that blogger just disappeared (or cheated on the readers if faking the confessions – a soldier might had been doing that too, or a journalist while observed or even participated in the violations) then the western democracy germ testifies nothing else but to have been the plague brought into lives of millions!

  61. bintinahr Says:

    She’s alive and well, but out of sight in the belly of the beast- to paraphrase the Beatles, our lady madonna is:

    Back in the US-
    Back in the US-
    Back in the US… A

    – where it’s been hard for her to find her voice again, so busy making a career; making a family; and just making peace with our crazy world. These are among the things I try to imagine has become of our dear sister from Baghdad.

    I also hope that given time, she’ll have something new to say to the world as an Iraqi exile and world citizen, that will open hearts and minds in new awareness, empathy, and love- Here’s hope that we’ll hear from this true heart again, and glimpse her as wonderful and precious and alive as when we first got to know her. (just a hopeful theory)

    As to how someone so perceptive and expressive could possibly leave so many (who love her so much) to worry about her for so very long- well, that leads to theories that I’m really not interested in exploring. Don’t drive us round the bend, my friend- take time to heal, and mend- but Send.

    Be safe and happy, Riverbend. Allah-ysalmik.

  62. Rebecca Says:

    I’m still checking and still hoping to see good news about Riverbend

  63. Pete C Says:

    It was disheartening to find the search for Riverbend dated 2008 — but then a comfort to find the 2010 comments, to see there are others still checking around and trying to find out, where is Riverbend? Is she ok?

  64. Tobey Llop Says:

    Checking again. Has it really been over a year since I checked? Once in my heart, dear girl, there you stay. You have a lot of good company there!
    And our hearts will meet again, in this world or another. There are only so many bends before all rivers meet the sea. Whether even now you’re in this world or another, the truth you stood for and shared is the truth that sets us all free. We are in your debt – and will rejoice of any news that you and yours may be well.
    Godspeed, Star of Baghdad!

  65. Tana Says:

    The silence is deafening.

  66. Chris Rea Says:

    Riverbend, i very sincerely hope your life got better…


  67. No news after all this time, So sad. I am glad I’m not the only one missing her.

  68. frapoco Says:

    Just to keep the thread going I suppose. I keep checking for Riverbend and have worried about her for years now. It’s nice to know other people feel the same way, but disheartening that no one seems to have any information.

  69. MMM Says:

    We are really missing you Riverbend! You had touched so many hearts, and tears were shed over reading your articles 3 years ago… Our only hope is that you are safe and alive. take care

  70. Amanda Says:

    It’s been so long since she’s spoken, but I think of Riverbend often… and occasionally, hopefully, stop by her blog.

    There are so many possible reasons for her silence. Maybe the despair of what she has had to live through finally overwhelmed her and she can no longer bring herself to share her experiences. Maybe she feels that, in leaving her homeland, she now has no story to tell. Other possibilities don’t bear thinking about.

    Wherever you are, Riverbend, the many people who have followed your story continue to fervently hope for your wellbeing. Thank you for doing what you did. If you come back someday, I’ll be overjoyed. And if you don’t, I’ll always think of you.

  71. stan Says:

    I miss and worry about you.

  72. Ken Says:

    Bintinahr, remarks June 10, 2010, seems to claim some knowledge of Riverbend’s whereabouts. By “back in the belly of the beast,” I assume refers to Iraq. I am one of the many who miss her blog, and wish her well.

  73. Rachel Says:

    I also check for updates… really hope she is ok.

  74. An Afghan Says:

    I somehow doubt that the fascist regime in Iraq together with the American government has done something dire to her. She was like a big threat to them. She revealed all their big lies about Iraq and Iraqi people…

    Dear Riverbend!
    If you are still in this world, which of course we hope you are, you should know that:

    We are still waiting, waiting around the bend
    Waiting to hear, hear from you, our friend

    We all miss you!

  75. pengait Says:

    greetings…

    Thursday, March 10 2011…

    still no update..

    if riverbend reading this, proudly to tell you that this is your reader from Malaysia..

    will keep on waiting & checking…


  76. Maybe she checks the internet and is aware of our goodwill and hopes for her. She is a brilliant writer and I hope she is still doing it.

  77. Ohioan Says:

    Everytime I get a notice that someone posted here, I begin to wonder about Riverbend and she and her family are. I hope someday we find that her story had a happy ending.

  78. Jill Says:

    I too have checked over and over, hoping for some update from Riverbend. I’m afraid her silence speaks for itself.

  79. jojo Says:

    checking in again…. isn’t there something we can do?

  80. Hareem Says:

    i hope she is okay, I’ve checked that blog so often. Unfortunately, today I got an “email” from Google about “legacy accounts” and how they will be removed if their owners have not logged in since 2007.
    I just don’t want her blog to be removed. I have already written an email to the Blogger admin about it. I hope they don’t.

  81. jenny Says:

    Syria in turmoil. I hate that she might again be in fear. Be safe R. You are the face I see when the news turns to the Middle East – which it does now hourly.

  82. Robert Pearsall Says:

    Add my voice to one who missed that lady’s writing.

    I came to her site almost by accident, about a year into the Iraq occupation and I was transfixed by the clarity and the intelligence of the writer. I went back to the beginning of the blog and read everything. And I kept on going back. And then the writing ceased.

    Every couple of months, I look for news of Riverbend once again. Nothing.

    And now, finally, I find this page. Still no news of Riverbend, but at least it is clear she is not forgotten.

    Fare well, Riverbend, wherever you are. Salam.

  83. Gina Rooney Says:

    Oh my gosh! I am crying as I read this…. What has happened to her? Doesn’t anyone care??? I am a college student at Portland State University in Oregon and am reading “Baghdad Burning” as part of a Womens Studies class. I have only just begun the book and thought I would google to see if she was still blogging. I am so sad to see that she is not and with no explanation as to why or where she is makes me not only upset, but very scared for her. If she is secretly reading this I want her to know that myself as well as everyone in the class are wondering about her and hope that she is safe. I also want to thank her for her blogging and for letting us know the REAL story about the war and Iraq from a REAL person who is living it. Please let us know you are safe when you can. I will pray for you Riverbend. I would also like to know if there is anything we can do to help. I would also like her to know that most Americans can’t stand Bush or what he did to your country and to our own. We were all told lies about the whole thing all throughout the war, and throughout his entire reign as President. He is an embarrassment to our country! My hope is that President Obama is doing the right thing in sending American troops home and leaving your country to govern itself again. I hope and pray that your country’s new leaders will be good ones and not part of any corruption. I hope that Obama and company are making sure that they are leaving it in good, safe, fair hands. PEACE.


  84. I think her last post described her ‘escaping’ as a refugee to Damascus …home from home!!! Another literary opportunity. Like everone else I would love to know if she and her family are OK.
    They did publish a book of her writing in England, so I guess she will have helpful friends.

  85. Red Bird Says:

    Was she a real woman or a psyop impersonation?

  86. Helene Says:

    Syria is hardly a healthy place at this point…

  87. jolish85 Says:

    Four years and some months have passed, and we are still waiting for any news.
    I found her blog on 2007 a few months before her last post.
    I miss her like everyone else.

    I hope she is OK


  88. I keep hoping someone will have news! I followed her blog faithfully since it started. I guess she was always in danger and maybe still is.
    Brave lady! I often wonder what happened next.

  89. Mina Badwi Says:

    Today is the first time i hear about her and googled her and end up her, i hope she is alright whether she is on earth or with god, i hope she finally found peace, i really hope she is alive living well, doing what she love whereever she is, god be with her.

  90. Venkat Says:

    Hope she & her family is fine.I used to read her blog every day, I really appreciate her way of presentation. I do hope some day we will hear some good news from her. We are missing you brave lady.

  91. Connie Douglas Says:

    Riverbend’s last blog entry has been published in the freshman composition anthology The Longman Reader (2012). Now many college freshmen will want to know what happened to Riverbend.


  92. She is Alive and well. I received a tweet yesterday from the chap that interviewed her for AJNet in 2006, @Firas_Atraqchi
    Says she hasn’t felt right about blogging since Iraq departure. She left Syria a long time ago.

  93. kirasi Says:

    over the years I have read riverbend’s archive 3 times. now all i can do is hope for the best and pray, and search the web for her latest news once in a while. god, i miss her; we are all missing you. please take care and may happiness & peace be with you.

  94. CassieC Says:

    I keep checking as well. I can’t imagine she is silent, for so long, on purpose.

    Syria was a horrific place for Iraqi refugees before the civil war started there, with young Iraqi girls forced into prostitution to feed their families (there were quite a few articles on this in the English press around 2007-2008). Now it must be even worse. I fear that something horrible happened to her after that last post. And we may never know what happened, who was responsible, and if anyone in her family survived.

    Those who think that somehow her publishers has a better link to her than we do: I don’t think her publishers ever knew more than we did. They published the work of on her blog, but did not know her name or true identity.

    I keep hoping to hear from her, but that hope is getting unrealistic. This is an extra burden to bear, as an American: on top of all the unnamed, unknown victims of that useless war, that this brilliant woman is probably added to the list. My fault, our fault, and those whose fault it is above all are allowed to walk freely by our current leaders. Shame on us.

  95. Desiree Bradley Says:

    It will soon be 5 years since that last posting of hers (Oct 2007) and since some of that fighting in Syria has reached Damascus – where Riverbend was in Oct 2007 – need I say more?

  96. Lindsey Says:

    To Riverbend- If you ever do make your way to this site and are able to read how many people you have effected I hope you will realize that this is only a small handful of the people who miss you. I am a mother of 4 daughters and could not imagine everything that the iraqi people went through. Most especially the mothers. If you are out there please let us know. It has been about 5 years now and we have not forgotten you. Along with the online blog I have read the book twice and am encourageing my oldest children to read it. I know that even if we hear no word from you I will continue searching for years to come.


  97. Just like to add my name to those wishing her well and hoping to hear that she has come to no harm.

  98. Vanessa Says:

    I also came across this site while searching for news on Riverbend. I hope that she is well, happy and most importantly, safe.

  99. Adam_Smith Says:

    It is now the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq and it caused me to wonder what ever happened to Riverbend? At what bend of what river might someone meet her now? Has her heart healed and her soul mended? I sincerely hope so.

    • Ken Says:

      Rina, thanks for sharing this info. It made my day.

    • murison Says:

      Yay! Thanks so much for letting us know!

    • Umer Says:

      Thank you Rina. I feel so relieved.

      And yeah, it is Dearest Riverbend for sure. But she has turned more bitter, more sad and more alone.

      What a beautiful writer she is~


      • Brilliant! Thank you.
        I thought it was one of those occasional wistful messages from this site and nearly deleted it!
        What a surprise. Welcome back Riverbend if you ever read this weblog!

    • kirasi Says:

      Thanks a lot Rina!!!
      I’m so relieved as well, and hope only the best for Riverbend and for all of you who are reading this.

    • Robert Pearsall Says:

      Rina, let me add my thanks for the update. Riverbend is a treasure – there is simply no other word. I read her most recent post with regret since it seems it may be the last. I also read it with joy. She has survived! Bitter, yes, and who can deny her that? Stronger and wiser, though, and that is what living – and surviving – is all about.

      Thanks again, Rina, and Best Wishes to Riverbend, wherever she is and wherever she goes.

  100. Hoyt Says:

    Yes, Riverbend is alive. She’s alive in all of us who remember her so well.

    Go well Riverbend….. We will keep you alive..


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