Witnessing a Genocide
by Weam Namou
Earlier this year, I decided to write a book in remembrance to what happened in Iraq in the summer of 2014. The book is called Witnessing a Genocide, and in it, I share my visit to Iraq in 2000, a journey where I embraced Easter with relatives, remembered my magical childhood in Baghdad, and enjoyed my ancestors’ town of Telkaif in Mosul.
The trip, held dear to my heart and preserved through pictures of extravagant picnics, tours of ancient monasteries and other lively explorations, is soon drowned by the events that follow the 2003 US-led invasion. Like the rest of the Iraqi American community, I watched from a distance the destruction and devastation befalling my birth country.
The violence and persecution of Iraqi Christians caused most of my relatives still living in Iraq to flee. The emergence of the Islamic State further ravages this community. But Iraqi Christians are not the only targets. Over three million Iraqis, of different ethnic and religious background, have been displaced by the conflict in Iraq since January 2014.
Witnessing a Genocide, the second book in the Iraqi Americans book series, provides the Iraqi American view on Iraq and the Islamic State. Their perspectives, told through personal stories, have sentiments and information not found in mainstream media. I hope that people who read Witnessing a Genocide can start viewing the East’s vision as a counterpart to that of the West. Today, Mesopotamia, the biblical Garden of Eden, is a flat desert, thanks to inflation, overuse of agricultural land, and enemy invasions. The past is a warning of how our current civilization could destroy the environment of the future.