After 9/11, Iraqis became America's enemy. They were scorned by the media, as if the whole country needed to burn in hell. A decade and a half later, "Iraqi" to many Americans simply means "Terrorist." In reality, there are many different ethnic groups and cultures in Iraq, and "terrorist" is not an ethnic group. We are causing so much more harm by prejudicing all Iraqis by that one awful label, because so many were just trying to get away--those terrorists were hurting people in their own country too!
As Nadia writes in her book:
"I still think that being forced to leave your home out of fear is one of the worst injustices a human being can face. Everything you love is stolen, and you risk your life to live in a place that means nothing to you and where, because you come from a country now known for war and terrorism, you are not really wanted. So you spend the rest of your years longing for what you left behind while praying not to be deported."
Nadia's story is heartbreaking from beginning to...well to be honest I didn't make it to the end. I really want to finish it, but I have to take my own advice here and Read When Safe, and right now, I am not safe. However, I do really believe this is a story that needs to be told, especially now, especially in America, when prejudices are SO high. Nadia's people need us to understand that YES what happened to us was horrific--but we were not getting the full story of what was happening in Iraq. We tend to see this war as totally America-centric, and that is not the whole picture. TERRIBLE things are happening in the Middle East, and their people are being tortured. I will come back to this, and when I do, I will update this review.