We were on a road trip , on our way to meet the cousins of my father for the first time. I couldnt help but be curious about how they looked like. What they were like. Year by year I'd discover more family members that I never knew about.
"Mom, they lived in Basrah?"
"Yes , they had."
"Huh..Basrah" I said sarcastically.
"Are they good people?" I asked.
"Yes they are, why wouldnt they be?" She said with a confused look in her eyes.
"When was the last time you saw them?" I asked, not ignoring her question quite much.
"Years ago." I was still confused because she did not number the years.
"How come I didnt meet them when i went to basrah with dad 2 years ago ?" I asked.
"Last time I had seen them myself was before we came to this country." She said.
"8 years." As I realized.
"I dont think so mom. People of iraq changed. A lot. From my latest visit." And perhaps the last visit it would be, I thought.
"Trust me on this dear." "Their father is as elegant and as royal as the head of ministry. He used to manage the biggest hotel in Iraq before he had retired." She said.
Suddenly the old images of iraq flashed in my head, and along came the current image of iraq, The comparison in my head between how great iraq used to be, how rich and beautiful the land Basrah was and how it is all gone. No admiration left, it's all an intricate matter.
The stories I hear about Iraq and the wars and the people of iraq, are close to infinity if you saw the destruction that occurred. The beautiful past, is all we have.
Sometimes, I feel like home doesnt even exist.
"Iraq". Those four letters , it's like thy dont mean anything to me anymore.
A home is a place that holds you, that keeps you warm. When did iraq ever hold me? Other than holding me backwards not forward. Other than leaving the poor cold and the rich hungry too. Where did all the blessings go? Where are the beautiful green lands? The River Tigris and Euphrates ? Helicobacter ?
It's hard to IMAGINE a country with such power, such good , such greatness , such grandeur, magnificence, fall. But it's even harder, to WATCH it fall , and having nothing in your hands to do about it.
Such blessings, that got destroyed , on the hands of those who envied it once. The enemies destroyed the only thing that I had to believe was home.
"You know mom.. Sometimes I hate Iraq."
"Because it ruined our lives."
Silence filled the car for a couple of moments before anyone spoke. It was true, Iraq did destroy us along. Iraq ruined our lives and everywhere we went our identiy was exposed but not lived by others. We once had a wealthy country, now the country is dying and the people are shattered. Mother knew it was true, even more than me, because i was just a child who couldnt remember and didnt live half the events mom had to go through. She witnessed it all.
"No one can hate their country dear, it is still your country."
It was true too, wherever I shall go, I will make my country proud, and not just a maybe, one day,Iraq will rise again, and I will have enough faith in my country that it will.
My country is not destroyed, my country lives peacefully in my heart. The people may ruin it, but it will always be as great as it used to be in my eyes.
Written today and posted today, from real life. P.s. I love my country no matter what.