Not only do my parents talk to me everyday of ‘a different life’, but they also make me wish that I lived in that time and era.
When I was 7 years old, I made a project for school titled ‘Iraq’, it was probably the thing I was most proud of during my childhood. My sister helped me write it, in fact I remember she brought out a massive textbook which included details about Iraq’s weather, condition, wealth, geography and population. In one part of my project, I had written ‘The roads in Iraq used to be beautiful, but now they are destroyed because of the war.’
At the time, I didn’t really understand what the ‘war’ was or why Iraq’s condition had deteriorated so much. And to be honest, I still don’t. Was it bad luck? Had someone cursed the country that my parents had told me so many wonderful stories about? Or was it destined for Iraq from the beginning of time? Was it her fate to fall so hard, to crash into millions of tiny pieces? She was once an ethereal creature, glowing in the dark, shining so brightly with her jewels of raw materials and flickering vividly with the fire and oil she had burning inside of her.
But now, she is withered, and dark, and full of so much destruction that one can’t even fathom how she became to be like this.
Perhaps we could argue that the country fell because of the actions of the people themselves and that we -humankind- are the ultimate cause for its downfall, because if it wasn’t for the selfish actions of a small minority of people, Iraq would not be in the poor state it is in today.
People say that my country was once one of the richest countries in the world. With it’s powerful army and strong government, it ruled in the Middle East. The language of Arabic made the tongues of the people living there seem so full of wisdom and grace. But now, the people speak a harsh language, they curse and mock others, they have become bitter, with a tongue that whips and snaps just because of their broken heart.
My mother tells me of a different life, where education was so strong that Iraq’s schools and Universities were considered to be one of the best in the world.
My father tells me of a different life, where there was an organised system in Iraq, where people knew what they were doing, where there was no chaos lingering in the very core of Iraq.
My uncle tells me of a different life, where religion was strong and blissful, and the people believed their lives were blessed.
My family tell me of a life where there was peace in my country, where people dying everyday was not something common at all.
I’m not saying that my country was ever perfect or completely beautiful as it had its flaws as all things do, but it was a happier place, where love and hope and joy still existed.
I don’t know what it’s like to belong to a country that is powerful and strong as I was not born in that era. But I’m lucky enough to have heard the insightful stories of how it used to be.
I wait for the day that I can hear the words ‘Peace in Iraq has been restored’.
I wait for the day where I will no longer hear the phrase ‘a different life’ but instead ‘our life has returned.’