I have to visit Iraq. I have not been there since 2007. I have to shoot down the last illusion I have. I have to make sure that the country where I was born and raised does not exist, not any more. I have to see how Iraq has become just a collection of minorities.
My parents are buried in Iraq. I feel sorry for them. They believed the map of Iraq. They thought Iraq is a country. They thought that the land was theirs. They never thought that Iraq would betray their sacrifices, and even their graves.
My parents lied to me. They told me I am Iraqi. Or perhaps, they thought that of themselves and me. But regardless, I forgive them. They were deceived. They believed the words of the anthem and they respected the flag. They did not know that those who sing the anthem are loyal to other flags, and want to divide Iraq to smaller states to serve the interests of other powers.
My parents did not know that those who talk about the Iraqi national unity are actually enemies. Lethal swords are hidden under their words, and while fighting each other, they have made the flesh and blood of all the Iraqis cheap.
My parents are buried in the Al-Adhamiya cemetery in Baghdad. I have to visit their adjacent graves. I have to tell them that the term “Iraqi people” has become meaningless. I have to tell them that the Iraqis now are identified as: Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds. It is the era of extinction for Iraq, and subsequently, the Iraqis. I have to tell my parents that when someone asks me about my citizenship, I feel I am lying to myself when I answer: Iraqi.
My parents have to know that after 2003, the Iraqi state was dismantled, and consequently, the Iraqi nation was disintegrated. What happened in Iraq after 2003 was not nation-building at all. It was utterly nation-destruction. As a result, the Iraqis have returned to their primitive roots that the modern Iraqi state (1921–2003) attempted to convert and trim for decades to build a national identity inclusive to all Iraqi minorities.
My parents have to know that the Iraqis now are just a collection of scared, terrified, and unwise minorities paying the cost of living together. The map of Iraq has become the landscape of a jail. Iraqi minorities have willingly accepted to be in cells of that prison for no other purpose but a hope to control it, and if that would not work out for any reason, then dividing the cake is the solution.
My parents have to know that the Shiites in Iraq are more likely to choose the Shiite Crescent over Iraq if they could not control Iraq, the Sunnis in Iraq are more likely to choose Sunnistan over Iraq if they could not control Iraq, and the Kurds in Iraq have already chosen Kurdistan over Iraq because they stopped caring about Iraq.
My parents have to know that the Iraqis are currently minorities, minorities, and minorities. The smell of fear is everywhere in Iraq, and on the horizon, extended conflicts. As for their son, he has chosen to be neither a Sunni, Shiite, nor Kurd. He has chosen to live free out of the jail.
Rest in peace mom and dad.