In this spiritual memoir, Haaland recounts his emigration from Iraq to America and his discovery of “Divine Orders.”
Haaland was born in Baghdad in 1955, an ethnic Kurd in the Kingdom of Iraq. During his childhood, he was witness to the coup d’état that created the Republic of Iraq, followed by other coups that placed various parties in power, culminating in the Baathist coup of 1968. The resultant violence and militarization, as well as the worsening conditions for Kurds under Saddam Hussein, led to a growing family desire for Haaland to immigrate to the United States. His emigration featured many blockages and false starts, but in 1980, Haaland finally made it to America, where he then encountered the trials of work, family, and purposefulness. A series of car accidents led to his increased spirituality, culminating in encounters with angelic beings via human “angel communicators.” Haaland is guided by voices in all things: even as he was reviewing an early copy of this book and felt the urge to make revisions, he heard a voice say, “Don’t you dare rewrite anything. You were writing from your soul while going through those difficulties. If you rewrite anything, you will be dishonoring your soul and feelings.” He attributes this editorial advice to being that of God, the angels, and his deceased mother. The book is full of the sort of coincidences that will excite the spiritually inclined while displeasing more skeptical readers. Haaland is a proficient writer, and he’s led a life that’s been fascinating and tragic, yet the supernatural filter he places over the events is so strong that the resultant book won’t be of much use to fans of literary memoir. The first half, detailing his time in Iraq, is worthwhile as a witness account, but there is little critical dissection of emotions or events, and as a result there’s little to enlighten readers who don’t share Haaland’s belief in divine instructions from the universe.
A distinctive memoir for a spiritual audience.