Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Hope and Trauma

[posted by Callimachus]

Iraqi Fulbright scholars in the U.S.

The feeling that American people are ignorant about Iraq motivates him to study translation. “Translation is a problem between cultures. I would like to learn how to convey meaning in all senses, helping [to] remove all cultural problems that stand between countries. I am happy to understand people from the other side and make my people understand them, too.”

After going home in 2007, he plans to work as an interpreter to help reduce misunderstandings between the Iraqis and Americans.

Hussain becomes sad when he thinks about his five-year-old son, Baqir. Every day, the boy with big brown eyes waits behind the wooden door to receive a banana from his father as usual. He waits for hours and hours until the sunlight dies over the window, the streets, and the Baghdad International Airport nearby. His mother is cooking in the kitchen. But Baqir wants to wait and eat with Hussain. Whenever his father calls, Baqir asks why he hasn’t come home for a long time even though he still talks to him on the phone like he is in his office. Hussain has not told his son where he is.

“If he knew, he would tell everybody that I am in America,” Hussain says with a sad voice, horrified to remember how his children were often asked in kindergarten if their parents ever said anything bad about Saddam Hussein. “The terrorists consider anyone who goes to America a traitor or a secret agent. They cannot wait for me to come home. They will kidnap my child and kill him.”