About Ordinary Courage.
“Of all the Iraq books published since the calamitous invasion, this is the most gripping and the bravest I’ve read.” – Thomas Keneally
Ordinary Courage is Donna Mulhearn’s personal memoir about her experience as a human shield in the war in Iraq in 2003.
This is one woman’s account of finding the ordinary courage to fulfil her purpose, no matter what the odds. At the age of thirty-four, Donna Mulhearn had become disillusioned by her career as a journalist and political adviser and set off on a journey of self-discovery.
One day, during this wonderful period of freedom, she heard something radical, a call to action that would change her course, and her life, forever. A man on the radio was appealing for human shields in Iraq—volunteers to deter the ‘Coalition of the Willing’ from attacking Baghdad. Donna was already against the war —she was a firm believer in the power of non-violent action. She knew immediately what she had to do.
Despite protests from concerned family and friends, Donna soon found herself travelling from Sydney to Baghdad. There she joined hundreds of shields from all over the world who formed small teams to protect major sites—power stations, water treatment plants,
communication centres—that were crucial to the life of innocent people. With Bush’s deadline for attack looming, businesses closed their doors for perhaps the last time and the streets became eerily silent as people prepared for the worst.
Donna and her team took up position at a water treatment plant, where they endured night after night of harrowing missile attacks, while during the day, in a show of support and solidarity, they visited hospitals and areas that had been bombed. Donna became the key media contact, and at the same time as supplying vital information to the outside world, she found she had to defend herself against accusations of being a traitor. Even when Saddam’s statue toppled and the Coalition claimed victory, her challenges did not end.
Donna’s story is exceptional, brave and full of conviction. It shows that by being true to yourself you can transform not only one life, but many.
"In this powerful memoir, Donna Mulhearn’s courage and principles stand in damning contrast to the lies told in our name. I salute her." John Pilger
Ordinary Courage is now available in all good book stores and also available for purchase on-line on book store websites and on-line stores.
Donna Mulhearn will be a guest at the Perth Writer’s Festival, February 2010.