2013 Catholic Press Association Book Awards: Faithful Citizenship (3rd Place)
"In [these] pages you will stare into the soulful eyes of a foe and recognize a friend. . . The Good Samaritans and peacemakers of Iraq are torchbearers leading humanity to higher ground."—From the Foreword by Desmond Tutu
"Many books claims to contain a life-changing message, but this one delivers . . . Readers of these pages can become witnesses to amazing grace in an unexpected place." —Brian McLaren
"Vividly told, with extensive research into the background of the war, this is a story of friendship that breaks through national definitions of enemy and pierces the myths of war."—Conspire Magazine
"Extremely moving . . . . I challenge you not to shed a tear."—The Englewood Review of Books
"Greg Barrett has written with passion and solid research the Rutba story of the Good Iraqis. It is the best translation one could hope for of Jesus' good news"—Jim Douglass, author, JFK and the Unspeakable
"There are some stories that you wish had never happened. And there are other stories that you hope you never forget. The story of Rutba is a story that the world cannot afford to forget."—Shane Claiborne, author, The Irresistible Revolution
"[A] remarkable story of generosity, hospitality, and community between the citizens of two warring nations . . . . This 'good news' amidst war is a gospel worth retelling."—Sojourners
In 2003, three U.S. Christian peacemakers weathered the first horrifying days of "Shock and Awe" in Baghdad only to be nearly killed in a car accident as they were leaving the country. They were rescued by Iraqi Muslims who took them to a clinic in the bombed-out town of Rutba, where they received protection and care. In sending the Americans on their way, their hosts had only one request: "Go and tell the world of Rutba." To honor that pledge, the peacemakers returned to Rutba in 2010 to thank the doctors and all who saved them and to contribute to an ongoing process of peace, friendship, and reconciliation.
Greg Barrett, who lives in northern Virginia, is a twenty-year veteran of local, national, and foreign reporting, including the DC bureau for Gannett News Service/USA Today. He is the author of The Gospel of Father Joe: Revolutions and Revelations in the Slums of Bangkok (Jossey-Bass, 2008).