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POETRY: Sara Salavati – ”They came for Baghdad”

No more meeting up with old friends in front of the Al-Mutanabbi

No more spontaneous strolls down to your buddy’s café

No more late nights around the Zawraa Park and watching the boys smoking shisha

So, tell me now


How did they make you leave?

Where did you go?

What do think of when you hear the word ‘home’?

You never talk about it

But I know you do think about it

Whenever you miss it you put on our satellite to watch it all over again

You hear someone from the back of the restaurants you used to go to

You see someone playing the same games as you did

You see someone in the house that you grew up in

And now you see someone driving down

Down the same streets as you did

Whenever you miss it you put our western news on to watch it all over again

This time being greeted with a different kind of piercing torture:

“Millions of Iraqi children abandoned or orphaned”

“Over 200 families evacuated after rising river level in eastern Iraq”

“A quest to bring peace to Iraq”

So which channel do you leave on?

The nostalgic yet twisted harmonic one which confirms what you already must have been expecting after so many years

Or the western reality of how your streets need to be bombed down in order to create peace?

So, tell me now

Why did they come for Baghdad?

Photographer: Gert Holmertz

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