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Teaching in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The Kurdish Bike - Alesa Lightbourne

I really enjoyed this audio version of The Kurdish Bike, a novel based on the author's experiences as an expat teacher in Iraqi Kurdistan.



The main character, Theresa, is an older, mature teacher, who has been through a messy divorce and decides to up-sticks to somewhere completely new to her. To have an adventure and escape from old memories. The job in Northern Iraq looks like the perfect opportunity.

Once in Kurdistan, she goes against protocol and buys a bike, then uses it to go into the village and meet some of the locals. She is adopted into a Kurdish family and we enjoy all their trials and tribulations alongside Theresa.


For me this worked extremely well as a way of introducing various issues, such as female circumcision, the rights of women and the recent history of the area.


The school was an eye-opener, I suspect there is a similar school near me, where all children are on the same page of the same book on any given day, irrespective of their level of ability or even whether they have had a teacher for the last term.


The book was narrated by the author and she did a great job - except there are a few places where she stumbles, which is something that I never hear with professional narrators. On the plus side, she does the 'asides' perfectly and I suspect these might have annoyed me in the written version as I'm not a fan of aside comments.

Hopefully she will correct these issues in the near future.


I am genuinely hoping that Theresa will go back to the village for another year of teaching - at the end of the novel she was offered an opportunity...will she take it??