Study Guide

Named Iraqis in Sunrise Over Fallujah

Named Iraqis

Birdy's unit moves so quickly that they don't get to know many Iraqis by name. There are only a few that they have conversations with, either because they speak English or through the help of a translator.

Halima Telfah is the woman who invites the soldiers, Birdy included, in for tea when they travel to her village outside Al-Uhaimir. She once lived in America for three years—she got a degree in biology at University of Seattle.

She tells Miller, Birdy, and the group the story of how Ba'athists gathered up men in her village to fight the Americans. They piled into their truck, and the village children watched as one of the men shot at a plane and the plane dropped a bomb on the truck. So she's not a huge fan of Americans. When Miller tries to tell her they respect her country, she counters, "I don't think you even know my country" (9.73).

Omar is a boy from Halima's village. Birdy kicks a soccer ball to him, and soon Omar gets a game going between the soldiers and some village children. When the Americans return for a rematch, Omar has gathered up the best teenagers in three villages to beat them.

The Americans go down so hard, it's kind of embarrassing.

Omar makes their defeat sting even more by telling them that he and his friends won because they're Muslim, while the Americans are infidels.

Hamid Faial Al-Sadah is a tribal leader, a sheik, who complains that the Americans aren't protecting his people. A group that includes Birdy is sent to make an alliance with him, led by Major Scott.

Scott tries to push the alliance over a large dinner, but Hamid mostly changes the subject to America's climate and his country's food. Eventually, he tells Scott that now that Saddam's been overthrown, they're in a second war to see what group will control Iraq, and Americans don't matter in this second war.

Muhammed Latif Al-Sadah is a missing boy with an unfortunately common Iraqi name that Birdy's squad searches Baghdad for. They eventually find him in a jail. Muhammed claims he was out after curfew looking for one of his family's animals, but Jamil suspects he'd been looting.

Talib Al-Janabi isa hospital worker in Fallujah who meets with Miller to ask for supplies. Sounds pretty simple, but for Talib, meeting with an American is a big risk.