The Generation of Loss

I belong to the generation that celebrated the war's conclusion in the summer of 1988. For three consecutive days, the streets teemed with Iraqis singing and dancing in response to the ceasefire announcement. Joyfully, we splashed each other with water on the streets of Baghdad, reviving an ancient Assyrian celebratory tradition. We were a group of strangers brought together by the shared hardships of war and eight long years of closed borders, which had turned Iraq into one giant prison for the millions of us who lived inside.