I am a kid who happened to be born in Iraq,
I am about to tell a tale that has never been told by any teller—
join me on my journal, journey way, way back.
I traveled the world, from the desert sands
to the top of the dark green mountain
where people throw food for the birds on the snow,
across the ocean, is the white land
where anyone from anywhere can find home.
When I reached the cold state covered in snow
I was alone, I was confused.
The high school, a new school,
surrounded by different people,
people who don’t look like me.
Walking in between them feeling like an alien,
sitting beside them in a dead classroom,
I didn’t feel their atmosphere.
Avoidant, disconnected like Wi-Fi,but I came from worst then that.
One time in Baghdad, while I was playing soccer with these kids,
a white goal in the middle of the street, dodging cars as they passed by,
running, scoring, getting tired,
getting a drink from a small shop beside me,
these kids were scared
of saying my name.
They were scared of being attacked, being hurt
by the politics of radical religious groups.
The gang was wearing black like the prisoner from the jail,
carrying machine guns, like they own the street.
crossing Baghdad, like the people from hell,
an unforgettable moment.
I traveled by bus to the top of the dark green mountain,
color of a swamp in the middle of the forest.
War was in the west, as a matter of fact,
the whole country was under attack.
Consequently those in power of our nation,
neglected to solve the equation by stopping the invasion.
People in power gave up on the country instead of defending it.
Hypocritical radical criminals, destroying the case they claim to defend
they don’t represent their religion, they don’t represent us
Who made them?
The same people who have power in my nation,
the same radical people who have control
are changing the direction of the public ideology
to make the citizen forget about
what the hypocrite did and how the government destroyed their own country.
Traveling in a huge moving metal machine,
got me across Iraq to the middle of Kirkuk
getting away from the war in the west to the border of Turkey
If you will take one thing from this story let it be this:
you are going to meet all kinds of people indeed
each one different,
your nice friends
the one who is taking lives to make his own life better,
each one leaving something inside you,
changing you forever,
the way you think,
the way you look at this world
Omar Abdujaleel participated in our Young Writers and Leaders program while a junior at Westbrook High School. He enjoys poetry and wrote a personal narrative poem about his journey from Iraq to the USA. In his free time, he loves playing guitar and being social. Although he writes poetry and plays music, Omar does not like to sing.