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From the Ashes of War

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Chicopee High School

I was born and raised in Iraq, there I took my first steps and learned the basic rules of life.

My life was perfect and I did not know that something would come along and change it.

When the war started, my entire life changed.

The war put everyone's life in danger, many Iraqis became refugees, and almost everyone was looking for a safe haven.

There was an indescribable amount of negative events that occurred during and after the war.

Despite it all, there was a positive side of the war.

At the peak of the war in Baghdad, I could no longer go to school for fear of being killed or kidnapped.

Then things could not get any worse, three people invaded my house while my family and I were sleeping.

Thankfully we all survived that incident but that was a turning point in our lives.

We escaped to Syria and stayed there for a couple of months.

We heard that life in Iraq was getting better, so we took a chance and returned.

The day we returned to Baghdad felt magnificent. I was very happy because I expected to return to the Iraq that I knew and loved.

At the beginning it felt as if nothing had changed. My house, my room, the smell of the wind and everything was the same. Things seemed normal despite the war, however, they were not.

We were surrounded by people who were suffering mentally or physically. Those who were not dead yet were dying. Everyone had lost someone or something that was important to them.

For me, it was my grandmother's house; the house I grew up in and the house I had all my memories in.

Although the house itself was still standing, everything was missing -- it felt like a ghost house.

All the valuable items that had been handed down from generations and ancestors had been stolen.

I could not believe that this was my country and these were the people I had known.

At that point, I started seeing the complete loss of security.

After a couple of weeks we received a threatening letter.

Once more, we left Iraq with nothing more than our memories.

The five years I spent



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