I wasn’t there in Baghdad; I couldn’t be there. I am an Iraqi citizen caught between two worlds. I’m a guest in the U.S., where I have lived since 2004, studying and working for this newspaper. But I have no U.S. travel documents. And my Iraqi passport has been invalidated.
More unsettling, more disruptive than the possibility of my father’s death has been the uncertainty about his fate. I mourn close friends who have been killed in Baghdad’s violence, but sometimes I envy their families for being able to bury their loved ones.
My experience — the distance and uncertainty that corrupt my ability to grieve — isn’t unique. Many people have fled Baghdad and left family behind to survive in a war zone in which people go missing and casualties are often unidentifiable.
Over the past year, my relatives in Baghdad have continued to look for my father without me, his oldest son. I have grown more distant from them, and strains between us have deepened.
I’ve been informed that my radio piece on the new wireless startup, Meraki, will be airing tomorrow.
It will be available on any of these stations (and their Internet streams):
New York – 3 pm Eastern – WNYC – 820 AM – www.wnyc.org
Washington, DC – 8 pm Eastern – WAMU – 88.5 FM – www.wamu.org
Los Angeles – 12 pm Pacific – KPCC – 89.3 FM – www.kpcc.opg
Boston – 4 pm Eastern – WGBH – 89.7 FM – www.wgbh.org
San Francisco – 2 pm Pacific – KQED – 88.5 FM – www.kqed.org
Will be available on The World’s site later in the day and on my site if you miss the broadcast.
Update: Audio is here.