On the first day of 1995 in Baghdad’s central hospital, a group of nurses huddled together in tears: “When shall we tell Aphra that God has given her a blind son?” This was Saddam’s postwar Iraq: resources were scarce, I was suffering from hypoxia, and my father was forced to bribe the doctors for more oxygen to keep me alive.
After I was discharged, my overjoyed mother took me back some 200km to our rural village in the heart of the motherland. When my older brother was born – my dad’s first (sighted) son – scenes of jubilation broke out in the village. Thirty lambs were killed to celebrate his arrival. But no lambs were killed for my return from the capital; I didn’t even get a chicken. After all, I was disabled. For the three months before we fled to the UK, the old women of the village –…
View original post 1,020 more words