What adjectives do you think about when you hear someone mention Iraq? I am pretty sure it was something related to war, fear and/or violence. But like any story, there are always at least two sides. You’ve probably only heard the bad, now let me tell you about some of the good.
I am going to discuss the Iraqi influencers that I am pretty sure you’ve never read about who, through their ideas, projects and achievements, made a real difference in this world.
One famous Iraqi influencer is Zaha Hadid: A woman, an architect and a person who left her mark upon the world through her designs and her buildings. Architects from across the globe wanted to work with her, to learn from her. She was a woman in an industry that was male dominated but she proved herself to be talented beyond gender bias. One of her biggest achievements is being the first women to earn the Pitzker Architecture award for the magnificent buildings such as Sheikh Zayed bridge, the BMW central building and Riverside Museum.
Another great influencer and humanitarian is the great Zainab Salbi. Maybe you never heard of her, but if you only google her name you will discover her goodness. She is a writer who bravely writes and talks about sensitive issues in the Arab world, such as rape and other kinds of abuse. She was hosted in Opera and was awarded for her work in Bosnia. She provides hope to so many who never feel heard.
Moreover, Iraqis are also famous for being artistic; the famous Iraqi singer, Kadim al Sahir, was known for his love of Iraq. He got an award from UNICEF for his song Tazakr, which was translated into 18 different languages. He was mostly known for his songs about peace and love.
Lastly, there is beauty in Iraq. One such place is the Mesopotamian Marshes that are so unique, they will take your breath away! Recently added to the list of Unesco world heritage sites for its protection, it’s on my bucket list to see.
So, as you can see, there are many Iraqi people to learn more about, and more and more of us out here who are actually trying to stop associating the negative solely based on politics or religion. There are good and bad everywhere and, in this age of technology, many opportunities to see beyond stereotypes. Challenge yourself to learn more about this beautiful country and its people. You won’t regret it.