Sunday, February 5, 2012

My Iraq

Patriotism- Such a funny feeling. I wonder where it comes from. The other day, I was updating my timeline and discovered that the makers of Facebook don't realize you could have a Hometown that you never really lived in.

The first time my eyes saw my homeland, I had already seen it. All the nostalgia that I was busy inheriting the first ten years of my life. Before I saw Iraq, I had already tried velvety buffalo cream and honey for breakfast. Then I had walked down the narrow alleyways of Baghdad and breathed in the fresh scent of orange trees towering over me. I had already picked up a fallen pomegranate, ripped its layers open and devoured the heavenly golden-red pearls inside it. I had walked to the holy Shrines, watching the shining domes looming ahead appear bigger and bigger, whispering my wishes along with everybody else. I had stopped outside on the way back home for a loaf of samoon. Then I had waited for my family members' siesta time so I could sneak into my ancestors' library- the one located in the attic, that smells of dust and hard work. I had browsed through bookshelf after bookshelf filled with yellowing pages, not resting my tired eyes until I had heard the yelled out rhymes of the vendors outside and the excited screams of all the children around them. I had climbed the stairs up to the roof after a juicy watermelon with cheese slices, where my warmed bed waited for me. I had spent the nights lulling myself to sleep by counting the brilliant star-lit sky above me.

I did all of this from across the world, in a foreign land far, far away from my real home. Memory-stealing is the only option I had. I had to experience all the not-so-good bits too as well, though. It's not like I could pick and choose what I heard. But I suspect my readers are all-too familiar with that side.

So the first time my eyes saw my homeland, I had already seen it. It was nicer this time though, through my own eyes. Iraq was under sanctions, so the new encounter didn't occur from the side-window of an aeroplane. It happened from the window of our cabin, a distant promise of land after three days of nothing but blue. Thirty six hours spent anticipating my re-union. How I missed my Iraq then- is it possible to terribly miss something you've never really seen?


10 comments:

  1. Beautifully written sis, so poetic, and romantic is your love for your country. Tears formed in my eyes. God, I wish all our countries could return to their days of glory and welcome back all its loved ones.

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  2. This is a very touching post. Your connection with Iraq is so real and vivid. Inshaa-Allah one day you will get to experience your hometown the way you always wished you could.

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  3. Lovely images. Good luck with the A-Z Challenge. I look forward to your posts.

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  4. Patriotism is such a pure form of love. Untarnished. You penned it all down so beautifully.

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    1. And unconditional! Thanks for the kind and undeserving compliments

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  5. Amazing post, it really warms the heart :)
    I wonder why when we all love our country, its still stuck in the same mess though! Its frustrating :)

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    Replies
    1. You're right- it's ironic that our country hasn't been taken care of when there are millions who profess undying love for it.

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