To mark the 10th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan, we have been collecting photo stories from around the country showing how people’s lives have changed over the decade the US has been at war. This series will feature some of those stories. You can see a slideshow of the stories and share your own here.
If you ask any person in the world what the past ten years have meant to them, they might start reminiscing on the simple life changes that occurred, probably moved out of that small apartment in the city and living now in a suburban house, or upgraded that car or happy that their son moved out of the house and went off to college. But to an Iraqi and an Afghani these past ten years have meant more than that. I speak for myself, the Iraqi, and I would share that looking back at the beginning of these the past ten years it meant living in the fear of war coming next to us from Afghanistan and soon enough my fears became true. Then I grew fearful of the shadows that will cloud Iraq’s skies after the war, and that happened as well. After that I lived the biggest transition of my life where I had to leave my home and move on to another country just so I can survive from the claws of war and since then the world never seemed the same to me. My status has changed from being a teenager looking forward to graduating from high school and going to college into a refugee waiting in limbo wondering where the wind of conflict will sail me this time. Will it be in another refuge? Or am I going to a home that I no longer know?
It may seem abstract how the past ten years affected the world, but there are people out there like myself, whose lives were changed completely because of an unfair war, a war that was waged on the premise of peace but brought nothing but tears, destruction and cruel men staring at the seats of power like hungry beasts.
Farah Muhsin is an Assistant Representative with the Iraqi Student Project.