Mariam Zara writes for nina-iraq.com
Mariam Zara, age 14 has a dream…
I am a 14 year old Iraqi lady with a big dream for my country. Although I live in Turkey now, all my life I was very interested in my family’s background, but now, to my mind, it lies in shattered pieces on the ground. When I see how amazing my parents’ childhood was before, it just makes me feel guilty today. Somehow I should be doing something to recreate this, to help. My aspirations now are based on this. Whenever I share this someone, they just say “Wow!”.
Quite simply, I would like to spend my future working towards helping a country grow and develop, to reach what it should be. For obvious reasons the country I would like to work in is Iraq. To do this effectively I have two alternatives: I either work with the United Nations or I create my very own charity (NGO). I have experienced a UN conference, albeit as a model for juniors, as our school always participates in this annual ‘model conference’ initiative. Last year, I was the ambassador for China and represented them in the UN. This year I am delighted to be to contributing to the ICJ (International Court of Justice).
Iraq used to be one of the richest countries in the world, and now it’s poor in so many ways. Some people would be surprised to hear that Iraq invented many things we would find it difficult to do without today, such as: soap, syringes and ink. We even contributed to the invention of the symbol (or numeral) zero. Lots of people underestimate Iraqi citizens. This is because they lump together our country’s culture with conflict, polarized beliefs…etc. In my opinion this is just absurd. We Iraqis have a very rich and colorful background that no other country has. I believe that as women of Iraq, we have the power and knowledge to support the development of Iraq in many different ways.
We should start by giving all Iraqi citizens Human Rights. This includes the rights of respect, including respect for all beliefs -irrespective of whether people are Muslim, Christian or within different groups within these main religions. I believe that citizens should have freedom of speech coupled with strong guidelines that support a society of mutual respect. This will ensure that Iraq is properly represented on the world stage. In order to develop Iraq, we need global support. Different aspects of development such as education, health care, economy must be dealt with; especially for women.
My country has the people, the knowledge and the power, all we need is the support!