I came straight to my laptop to write about that special weird moment that just happened and there are two things about this moment. The first one is that I am not embarrassed about it and the other one is that I will probably not forget this moment for a pretty long time.
I made myself some breakfast and went to the balcony of our flat in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to have it. As I prepare myself mentally for my flight back to Spain in less than 72 hours. Everything is becoming nostalgic and emotional at this moment as I begin to leave my dear family behind for yet another year abroad.
Malaysia has taken my family with open arms for what will be 11 years this September, I love this place like it is home, but there is no place like home. I was 8 years old when I left Iraq in 2002 to Egypt knowing that I will be back to play football in the street with the boys, but who knew that I would go half way around earth and never get to say goodbye. Yes, goodbye. My friends have either fled the country without a trace or even worse, killed in the war. I have forgotten names but their faces will never travel away from my mind.
As I listen to chilled piano vibes in an attempt to cool my emotions while I write to you today, I want to tell you why I talked to the plant.
My mother has a beatiful collection of plants in our balcony and whilst I take in my bites and sips of milk I looked to my left to find a plant that had grown tight around the rails of the balcony, making the rails its pilars for the new home. I almost teared up in that instance at how this is now the home of this plant and taking it away from here would not only be devastating for the plant but, probably for me and the family too.
I thought to myself “Do you know what happens to a tree if you move it from one place to another without taking any of it’s roots?” then I answered myself “Yeah, it dies.” Which is almost exactly what is happening to people of Iraq, my roots were left behind and I grow older everyday thinking if I will ever get to see where I was born. Being exiled without a choice is the hardest thing that can happen to a human. Some people ask: “why wouldn’t you go back now?” The answer is quite simple, if I go back I will either have to be a coward and accept an organized rape, killing and torture system and simply wait for my turn or hold a weapon and fight against that. I would pretty much not like to wait for my turn. So, I decided that my job should be to inform the people of the world what 30 million people and I are going through.
I told my mother’s plant “You have a home, pray for me to see mine”.
Almustafa M. Khalid