When I was younger, I used to go out with my dad and protest the Iraq war. At that age, I didn’t understand the purpose of war, and honestly I still don’t. All I knew was that there were children similar to me not being able to live their lives. So I sat out there holding up my sign, smiling for the cars passing by. Well flash forward a couple of years, and I was fortunate enough to befriend someone from Iraq. I met Hawraa in 2012, and at the time, I had no idea where she was from or the impact she would have on my life. I soon found out that she had moved to Michigan in 2010 from Iraq, and she lived through everything that I protested against. She was the reason I went with my dad to protest. I listen to her stories of the several times her life was at risk, and all I can think is why? Why is my country doing this? Why am I ashamed to say I am from the United States?

Iraq isn’t the main country currently, the violence has shifted to Syria for the time being. But no matter where it may be, I stand against violence in other nations.


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Youth Voices is an open publishing and social networking platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.  See more About Youth VoicesTerms of ServicePrivacy Policy.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


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