My friend in Canada sent me a message yesterday, she wrote:
“This war in Ukraine must bring lots of painful memories of your own country.” I couldn’t respond to her message as I didn’t know which memory hurt me the most.
Since the Russian Ukraine war started, I’ve been thinking about wars that were launched on Iraq and other counties in the Middle East. During the first Gulf war in the early nineties I was a new immigrant to Canada. I watched my beloved country burning hence Wolf Blitzer the reporter from CNN described the sky of Baghdad as a Xmas tree. For more than a month I didn’t know who survived the continuous bombing on Baghdad where my family resided.
I thought of the sanction that was imposed on Iraq for thirteen years and the other wars the Americans launched along with their allies on Iraq.
The Iraqis lived since the early nineties in fear, the lack of basic living necessities was their norm. The image of the American soldiers putting their boats on the head of the innocent iraqi civilians, the faces of the terrified women and children while the soldiers were fetching their homes stayed in my memory all that time. Let’s not forget about Abou Ghraib prison and the ugly images of the torture and humiliation of the Iraqi prisoners shared by the media.
Abeer al Janabi the 14 year old Iraqi kid who was raped in front of her family members before murdering the whole family was another story of the American’s atrocities.
During the three decades I was a tax payer in Canada but was called a filthy immigrant, a terrorist and was asked to go back to my country. But at the same time I witnessed and involved in most of the rallies and walked side by side with the Canadians who called for justice and peace in the Middle East.
The media played and still playing an unfair role covering the news in the Middle East. The stories of the people who live in Iraq, Ghaza, Yemen and Syrian are/ were not covered with honesty and fairness.
I am an Iraqi Canadian women who feels for whoever will be killed in any war. At the end we are all equal we are not different from the European or the people who live in North America. Iraq was the cradle of civilization, Damascus was the oldest capital in the world and Yemen was called he land of milk and honey and the people in Gaza are fighting oppression and occupation.
We are not a third world nation, there is no difference between our colour or theirs. We have our prosperous people who lost their homes, dreams and hopes because of the wars and immigrated to Europe and North America but became successful citizens. So don’t label us you’re not better than us, we are all equal.
Let’s not forget what Mahatma Gandhi said “ I remember that all through history the way the truth and love has always won. There have been tyrant and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but at the end they always fall- think of it always”.