I write to not forget

I write to not forget. To not forget my experience in Iraq, to feel alive and human; to not  become desensitised from the generalised malaise and constant forgetting that so easily becomes a defense mechanism victims of conflict unconsciously employ.

I write because I need to remember. To forget, to ignore, and disassociate is itself cruel, and inhumane. I write here to ensure this is the point of reference for all my writings in the future – that it starts with these thoughts, frustrations and realities.

More than before, I feel the need to write about the dire situation in Iraq, the ongoing and unresolved crises that continue to wreak havoc on untold millions. The horrendous, medieval conditions so many Iraqis live in; that should not be forgotten, nor should it be ignored.

Trauma, poverty, ignorance, war, corruption, fear, breakdown and catastrophe – those are the terms that define ‘modern’ day Iraq. Peace is an aspirational term, not a reality.

It is more than the conflict that is most ruthless to Iraqis; it is the everyday living conditions in which they live that are most worrying. Poverty is everywhere, in the languages people speak, in daily repertories and in the fear that life for so many people is brutal and short.

I write to not forget the mass trauma that is Iraq today. The collective trauma that often hides more than it reveals, a trauma interwoven with all facets of life that it becomes invisible, even integral to daily life.

Distance is calming.



About Mehiyar

I am a PhD graduate from the Department of Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. I have spent several years from 2003 working in international development and Iraqi NGOs - lessons and experiences that led me to undertake doctoral research between 2011 and 2015. I am currently working on publishing a book on the formation of Iraq's NGO sector from 2003 to 2013 based on this research.

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