- Posted February 21, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The war through your eyes: Iraq 10 years on
My Memories from 2003
- sarahbrowngb, CNN iReport producer
It was two days before starting The Operation Iraq Freedom, me and my family which consisted of my mother, my father, and my three younger brothers, we were in our home in Sulaymaniyah City, north of Iraq. The most unforgettable moment in my life was when my father came back from the market, and he brought some covers and tools to cover the windows to protect ourselves from any possible chemical attack by Saddam Hussain the former Iraq president and one of the greatest dictators in history. Once I saw the tools with my father I was too scared and also my brothers and my
mother, we all stood against him and we asked my father to leave the the town, just like others, and flee toward other places where our relatives live, later my father agreed to take our family to Halabja, which is located near Iraq-Iran border, and it was the city that attacked by chemical weapons in 1988 and thousand of innocent people killed in there. Anyway for the next day, which was a day before starting the war, we moved to Halabja, it was so unique to see our city so empty and free of citizens, we were just witnessed some police and very few cars, I've never seen our city like this before. We felt much better after leaving our city because rumors had it that Saddam wants to attack Sulaymaniyah City soon, and that was the reason why most of the people left the city. Then, it was like 6 in the morning, I heard my father's voice and the TV, and I woke up, I never forget that moment too, when I saw Baghdad from the TV being attacked by Allies, and we heard air raid sirens in there. We were all so happy, and so excited to see that moment, my father told us "look, this is the end of the tyranny and dictatorship". He was always hopeful and he was always wished to see such moment, because he suffered a lot because of Saddam and his oppression. We spend more than a week in Halabja, and there we saw American airplanes attacked Hawraman mountains where the Ansar Islam which was a group of Alqaeda stayed. The attack was enough strong that we could feel the shock waves from there which was about 50-60 kilometers away from the city. People of Halabja was happy to see Americans helping them with wiping out the terrorist groups around their city. People of Halabja became more familiar with Americans after Colin Powell the former United States Secretary of State, and some other American figures' visit to Halabja. After that we came back home after weeks, and when we got home we felt like we were born again, we saw our city, our country in a new way which was a new democratic and free country. We carefully watched and listened to all the news daily until the Iraq war ended, and I remember when we had our first satellite receiver for the first time after we came back from Halabja, and it made it more interesting to watch the news and to see how Saddam forces were defeating. It was a very special day for all Iraq people, especially for Kurdish people in Kurdistan, because our people were the greatest victim of Saddam's oppression. There we started a new life, without fear, without dictatorship, and oppression. After Iraq war, all we could say was just "Thanks America for your help to end dictatorship and tyranny in our country". After Iraq war, Kurdistan dramatically changed and now we live peacefully and feel the freedom more than any time in our lives. I wish the brighter future for all Iraqi people, especially for all Kurds in Kurdistan.