I have nothing against forgiveness. Forgiveness frees.
However I do have a problem and am stuck...so maybe you can help me.
How on earth does one forgive when the slight, abuse, humiliation, cruelty, destruction, annihilation is ongoing....Day in, day out. How?
Forgiveness necessitates truce, a time out, a moment of peace...
Forgiveness necessitates distance from the predator, from the abuser.It also needs a time of healing. It needs amends, corrections, rectifications, for all the damage.
How on earth can you expect anyone to forgive when none of the above conditions are there?
And moreover, why do you expect me, us, Iraqis to forgive you when there is no intention or change of course on your part?
What are we supposed to do with our dead ones, our injured ones, our memories, our lost hopes, our vanished dreams? What are we supposed to do with our exile, our losses, our uprootedness?
And even if we suddenly metamorphose into sainthood, what do we do with your presence in our faces?
Christ was crucified once. He was able to forgive. It was a one time affair.
But you are crucifying us daily. Daily, since your Desert Storm. And ever since you have done nothing but blow more sand in our eyes.
So how do I forgive? You tell me...
And assuming I have managed to do so.
Will the Tigris and the Euphrates forgive you ?
Will the dead fish and the floating corpses forgive you?
Imagine I forgave you.
Will the deliberately burned down palm trees forgive you?
Will the ruins forgive you?
Will the polluted earth with your toxic waste forgive you?
Will the walls of this city and its crumbled roofs forgive you?
Will Iraq ever forgive you?
I am the wrong person to ask forgiveness from. Ask Her.
But before you ask Her, stop doing what you are doing.
You cannot continue in your ways and ask for forgiveness. It is simply not possible.
In the meantime, She will continue driving you out by the same and equal sheer force that you have used on Her.
Read Her history and you will know.
And trust me, you will come begging for Her Mercy.
Painting: Iraqi female artist, Nadia Mohammed Yass.