My Childhood in Iraq

It was 21st of July 1995 when I took my first breathe in this world. I was born and raised in Erbil, the capital city of Northern Kurdistan-Iraq. I live with my family. I’m the fifth child of our family I have 3 brothers all older than me and 2 sisters – one of them is older and the other is 6 years younger than me.

This is my family in 1992, three years before I was born. They just come back from to Hawler, the capital of Kurdistan, from Iran. My family were refugees In Iran during the war between Iran and Iraq. With my Mom and Dad here are my three brothers and oldest sister.
This is my family in 1992, three years before I was born. They just come back from to Hawler, the capital of Kurdistan, from Iran. My family were refugees In Iran during the war between Iran and Iraq. With my Mom and Dad here are my three brothers and oldest sister.

My oldest brother Bilal is 35. He finished his studies and now lives in America with his wife and two beautiful daughters. Next is Abdurrahman. He currently lives in Toronto, Canada, getting his PHD in Sociology, also with his family. My youngest brother lives here in Erbil with his family – his wife and their twins. He works very hard for a good company. My elder sister is married and lives abroad, as well, with her family. My younger sister is studying in the 10th grade. She’s one of the smarter students in her class!

This picture is from 1995,  the year I was born, so this little one is me with my parents and my youngest brother Basit.
This picture is from 1995, the year I was born, so this little one is me with my parents and my youngest brother Basit.

Now we don’t all live together in the same house everyone is living their life away from each other but we try to get together in the Holidays or big school breaks to keep our family together and let the love grow more.

As I grew up we lived in the same house all together; an average size house but in my eyes I thought we had the biggest house because it was filled with love!

This picture is from 2001. The baby is my youngest sister who was just a few month old. Only my oldest sister is missing because she had got married and was living in Qatar.
This picture is from 2001. The baby is my youngest sister who was just a few month old. Only my oldest sister is missing because she had got married and was living in Qatar.

I was an hyperactive kid always wandering around the blocks and the streets, playing all kinds of games with the friends I had. I had a lot of friends because I was a very open kid. I always stayed at my friend’s house and went out with their family, my family didn’t seem to have problem with that because they wanted me to learn and cope with all kinds of people and they liked the fact that I was very social at this young age!

I am five years old in this picture. It was taken in kindergarten.
I am five years old in this picture. It was taken in kindergarten.

Growing up here in Iraq, with Saddam’s regime in charge, even though I was young and wasn’t aware of everything happening in the country, I could tell that it was hard for the people to live freely and speak their minds; no one was allowed to criticize the Government or anything related to them! As Kurds our lives were always at risk if we said or did anything unpleasant for the Government!

Since my dad was a religious minister he had to be very careful not to upset anyone because otherwise our lives would be in danger. The political situation here for Kurds was not good during my childhood; one time we were warned to pack everything and leave the City because Saddam was planning to release poisonous gas on the people saying that they were betraying him and the regime, most of the people left the town and didn’t take much with them – they were too scared after what he had done to Halabja!

Thankfully, we were among those that stayed and nothing happened. We had many more unpleasant and scary experiences but other than that my parents tried their best to provide me all I needed to live a nice childhood, go to school and grow into a healthy person. I was a child influenced by my whole family members – they taught me to be independent and self-motivated by providing me opportunities to learn by trial and error and I am forever grateful.

I finished my primary school with the 2nd highest grade. In my final year our studies were in Kurdish – thankfully we had achieved this right after so many years fighting for it! And I studied my secondary and high school in a private Turkish school – it was an expensive school but my parents wanted me to get a good education and learn new languages. I’m so glad that they did because it helped a lot to keep me going <3

My intellectual curiosity is the result of a unique combination of early influences and childhood experiences which have fueled my passion for learning inside and outside of the classroom – learning from everything I do. I hope to continue applying this curiosity to all aspects of my life, exploring the world through my childhood personality, refusing the obvious explanations and seeking new knowledge, new innovations. Since I was a kid I wanted to be an effective person in my society and serve my community with all that I learn each day to get closer to my goals and what I have in mind for my people.