Part Two of Three.
We Don't Talk About It (Part II of III)
After 2 nights, we all made our way back to Suq-al-Shuyukh, and the first thing I remember seeing as I walked home with my Mom and siblings was a young man tied to an overhead power line, getting tortured by the Iraqi Republican Guard or IRG. I can still remember the young man’s sister wailing and begging the IRG to stop the torture, but they ignored her and killed him. As I stood there with my Mom, one of the IRG told my mom to take her dogs (referring to me and my siblings) and leave.
A day came when my Mom decided we needed to leave town. My dad had already left us behind and my mom knew she wouldn’t be able to have a life without a husband. She tried escaping the war multiple times with us five kids. My sister Shams was an infant and I was the oldest at seven. My Mom was only 26 but determined to get us out and went to 3 different camps before she was allowed into Rafha camp in Saudi Arabia (where my dad was). She is my real hero, a giant that walks among men. She never let anything get in her way of trying to save or improve her kids’ lives or to fight to get to where she needed to go. Even when we got to the camp it was not easy. I saw my mom day-after-day stand in line to get her kids food and water rations.
No one wants to be in a refugee camp, you’re stripped away from your identity and become a number that accompanies you through the whole time you’re living within the fenced off desert.