colonial heritage

Is Colonialism still alive?

I was super excited to visit the British museum to see what I find to be my most beloved treasure of my heritage- Ancient Mesopotamia. I realized just how much they’ve stolen and it made me upset, while I was having the time of my life seeing all these breathtaking relics. It was emotionally overwhelming.

Iraq, a war-torn land, is (and has been for as long as I remember) in a terrible condition where our heritage is being destroyed, manipulated and forgotten. It is disheartening. So I thought it is good that they were there. No harm will come to them. A part of us is safe.

I realized that Ancient Mesopotamia in all its fragments wasn’t the only thing that was ripped out of its land. I too, along with my family, followed its same path. War, suffering and injustice for the sake of ‘power’ made it so. As I walked through the “rooms” that were mainly dedicated to Ancient Mesopotamia, I experienced what I was so desperate for: coming face to face with my roots and have them speak to me.

In the British museum, London, I felt so at home, surrounded by my history and ancestors, finding them in the silence and peace of reunion. As much as we have been ripped out and cut to pieces, we’re not dead. We live.

~Aya Al-Hakim©  


Feliz dia de la Independencia Dominicana. Que viva mi gente! I found these walking around la zona colonial in SDQ back in November. 

If you know any Dominican people please do wish them a happy independence day. They will love you for it.

Photography by Ruddy Harootian