I still remember the first time I reflected on my family’s escape from the war between Iraq and Iran in the 80’s. The after-school teacher asked me to tell about the route and describe my memories. I could not because I was not sure what this meant.
I was new in Norway, and that people at home and in the community I was living in kept telling me that I was not Norwegian. I didn’t comprehend the language well enough and I was confused when moving between places and people.
Some years later, at the age of 9, I one day described a nightmare to my mother, some images were rich in detail, and other more blurry. She confirmed that these were true happenings from our escape, travelling from one mountaintop to another, with planes crossing over our heads. I remember hiding in the basement in my uncle’s arms. He whispered to me: This is it. If I can re-experience such terrible memories from before I turned four, I wonder how youth and children growing up in the midst of war experience life? [Read more…]