One day Saddam decided that there were thousands who weren’t really Iraqis and shouldn’t stay in Iraq anymore, without thinking about what would happen to them, he took his decision and threw them on the borders after confiscating all what they had.
At that time Ali was only four years old; his family didn’t face this problem as they were “pure!!” Iraqis, The guy was such a clever student and eventually he scored the highest and was the first in his school of medicine, the thing which needs more than great effort.
Being pleased by his achievement, Ali decided to go further in his education to get an academic profession in his hospital and university, living his dream he was thinking about being an orthopedic surgeon.
All of a sudden; Ali was rejected! Like a mad he looked for an explanation, he was informed that his grandmother was born in “Ahwaz” the land which we kept considering it as Arabic, and for such security cause he wasn’t eligible for post graduation studies.
I advised him to speak to the minister of Higher Education, he did and the surprise was that the minister told him that he can’t do anything as he has a security issue.
After 26 years living as an Iraqi; Ali realized that he was not or in a proper word he was deprived from being so. And yet, that wouldn’t excuse him from doing his military services!
I remember how Ali was looking like at that time; he was quiet, working for three days in continuity, and was thinking all the time without being able to complain.
My grandmother was Iranian, not from an Iranian origin but an Iranian whose family had left Iran to live in Iraq before she was born, she kept saying that she was Iranian, yet, neither my mother nor anyone of her siblings had ever considered themselves as Iranians, I’ve never heard my grandmother wishing the Iranians to win the war against Iraq or to control it, all what I heard from her is her love to Iraq and Iraqis.
During the war in 2003 she was in her mid seventies, she begged my aunts to let her go to Iraq saying that “let me die with them, is it worthy to live if they die?!”
Her last wish was a grave in Iraq for which she kept praying to Allah asking the Almighty to make her end in Iraq and not anywhere else, I remember how like a child she pretended to be sick just to stay in Iraq when they tried to take her with them.
The story of Ali and the story of my grandmother brought many questions into my mind, who is Iraqi and who is not? What are the guidelines to decide who is Iraqi? Is it a matter of documents, names, families or accent? Is there anyone who has the right of deciding who deserves to be Iraqi and who doesn’t?
No doubt that Saddam was Iraqi, yet did that give him some mercy on Iraqis? It’s not only about Saddam as there are many others who pretended to be patriotic and all what they did was killing and stealing. Are they more Iraqis than (Margaret Hassan), who spent her life helping people in Iraq and eventually was kidnapped and killed?
That lady passed through all the horrible things we’ve faced, is there anything which deprive her from the right of being Iraqi?
I felt so little when a lady here told me that she considers herself coward and selfish as she left Iraq instead of staying there helping people.
She didn't talk about the help she is giving to me and many others, she didn't care how muchg she gave, she thought about what she didn't give,wasn't she rejected once? Isn't it great to see such people nowadays?
Have I done anything for Iraq or Iraqis apart from talking about them?
While walking along the riverside, I kept thinking about all the above mentioned, I wonder why our patriotism is measured by loyalty to person or to sector not the country itself?
Meanwhile my mobile rang, she was my mother, their life is just getting worse and they haven’t got electricity for 20 days, I didn’t know how to reply, not so long after that I received another call, a friend of mine telling me that her 75 years old father in law was kidnapped and killed in Basra for no explained reason.
I have to admit that I’ve encouraged all those who I know to leave the country as soon as possible, maybe it sounds bad, however, I’d like to save their lives.
Nowadays; to be Iraqi is not about living there, it’s not about burning yourself and destroying your life and family, if those who regret leaving Iraq stayed there, they wouldn’t do anything a part from adding their names to the long list of sorrow, furthermore, they might deprive the country from their help if things get better.
“Firishteh” is the best example I have for being Iraqi and away from Iraq at the same time, that woman becomes really mad when she talks about Iraq, she is ready to shout or even to swear defending it, I like looking at her in such situations; she just gives warmth and love while speaking about Iraq.
No one could explain how it’s possible for a woman to bring up her children as Iraqis unless she is already Iraqi, she should be in love with Iraq to do so. Is there any proof stronger than being in love with Iraq in such circumstances?
I don’t think documents or names give identity, only love and loyalty do so.
As far as I’m concerned; I don’t need documents to know who Iraqi is, I recognize Iraqis by their warmth which comes from their love to Iraq and its people.
I wonder if I’ll live until the day I see loyalty to Iraq becomes the superior proof of identity for being Iraqi and getting the equal opportunities.