Head of a man, fragment of a relief sculpture from Room N in the palace of the Assyrian king Sargon II (r. 721-700 BCE) at ancient Dur-Sharrukin = present-day Khorsabad, Iraq. Now in the Cabinet des Médailles, Paris.
IRAQ. Bashur (Southern Kurdistan). Nineveh governorate. Snuny. October 2016. Kurdish Yazidi women from the Sun Force battalion. Two years ago, many of these women were abducted by Isis and kept as sex-slaves during the systematic massacre Isis perpetrated against the Yazidi people. On their escape they enlisted within the Peshmerga’s growing minority of female forces, preparing to fight Isis in the forthcoming battle for Mosul.
Today in class the professor had us partner up with someone else and discuss an issue with each other. One person would write and the other would read it out loud to the class.
A very quiet Iraqi lady came up to me and asked to be my partner. I am normally a very talkative student so I thought this was the perfect opportunity for me to lay low and let someone else take the stage. I asked her if she would like to be the presenter and she said, “I can’t. I have an accent and no one can understand what I am saying.” So I said, “I can understand you.” She said, “Thanks but my children make fun of me. They say ‘mom be quiet, no one can even understand what you’re saying’.”
This made me realize what a shitty human being I am because I used to say the exact same thing to my parents back when I tried to hard to please my racist classmates and before I realized how amazing it was that my parents were fluent in more languages than most of them would learn in their entire lifetime.
The fact is, people with thick non-anglo accents are perfectly aware of how the world sees them. That’s why my classmate, a brilliant woman, hasn’t said a single word out loud in class. That’s why my aunt, tired of being mocked for her accent, asks my sister to make all her important phone calls for her. That’s why sometimes even I use smaller words when I am talking because I can’t pronounce all the words I can write.
McGill University recently fired a professor because he had an accent. One of my other classmates, who is fluent in English, is fighting for his right to not be forced to write the TOEFL, which is usually waived for students with his educational background. And finally, last but not least, I know my accent is the biggest reason why I walked out of the American embassy in Saudi Arabia with a visa stamped on my passport moments after I arrived while all the other applicants were thoroughly questioned and, in some cases, rejected.
Dear POCs, fucking stop making fun of other people’s accents. They already have a hard enough time dealing with a system that marginalizes them. Fight for them, not with them. Always remember, you are not superior to other people just because you speak the language of your colonizers fluently.
Earlier today I decided to speak on my families experience of war. The day that the British government decided to vote with a 174 majority in favour of sending airstrikes to Syria. The airstrikes have already been completed, one four/five hours after the vote. And there’s many more to come.
As an Iraqi it pains me to watch this endless suffering. To watch innocent Syrian civilians have to suffer the brunt of actions they did not commit in Paris. I hope my words help those who feel comfortable to demand for airstrikes in Syria, even though they lived thousands of kilometres away, to rethink their painful violent arrogance. These are people. People who are going to be killed.
Dankour was the first beauty pageant winner to be crowned as Miss Iraq in 1947. Dankour was from an Iraqi-Jewish family in Baghdad. She was born and raised in Baghdad, and passed away 7 years ago in London.
I went out like a sleepwalker. Aroused by nightmares. I began searching for my homeland, in all continents, on earth and in heaven. Praying. Reciting every supplication. Carrying shrines. And a generation of orphaned martyrs. And a generation of veteran martyrs. And another awaiting the massacre… oh homeland of the innocent, were you for us a graveyard or a homeland? - Abd Al Latif Ataymish
Pity the children.
An Iraqi young boy holds a weapon from the window of a car as people gather to show readiness to join Iraqi security forces in the fight against Jihadist militant who have taken over several northern Iraqi cities in the capital Baghdad.
Brothers in arms. Shi’i and Sunni Iraqi soldiers pray side by side after a big battle against ISIS terrorists in Jarf Al-Sakhr, a town located in northern Babil. The area is now under complete control of the Iraqi army. May God bless them, keep them safe, strong, united, and return them safe to their families.
If someday a delegate comes to my land & asks me: “Where is the grave of the Unknown Soldier here?” I will tell him, “Sir, on the bank of any stream. In the bend of any Mosque. In the shade of any home. On the threshold of any Church. At the mouth of any cave. In the mountains of any rock. In the gardens of any tree. In my country, on any span of land, under any cloud in the sky. Do not worry. Make a slight bow & place your wreath of flowers.
Sleep, you hungry people, sleep! The gods of food watch over you. Sleep, if you are not satiated by wakefulness, then sleep shall fill you. Sleep, with thoughts of smooth-as butter-promises, mingled with words as sweet as honey. Sleep, and enjoy the best of health. What a fine thing is sleep for the wretched. Sleep till the resurrection morning then it will be time enough to rise. Sleep in the swamps surging with silty waters. Sleep to the tune of mosquitoes humming, as if it were the crooning of doves. Sleep to the echo of long speeches by great and eminent power politicians. Sleep, you hungry people sleep. For sleep is one of the blessings of peace. It is stupid for you to rise, sowing discord where harmony reigns. Sleep, for the reform of corruption simply consists in your sleeping on. Sleep, you hungry people, sleep! Don’t cut off others’ livelihood. Sleep, your skin cannot endure the shower of sharp arrows when you wake. Sleep, for the yards of jail houses are all teeming with violent death, and you are the more in need of rest after the harshness of oppression. Sleep, and the leaders will find ease from a sickness that has no cure. - Al Jawahiri