I’m human by Malka Al-Haddad

I’m from a country at war

I am from a country that’s bleeding

A country of anger

And revolutions

A country of martyrs,

I’m from a country once called Mesopotamia

I’m from the land of black gold

I’m from the richest land on the earth

I’m from the land of sunshine on a golden desert


I’m from there

But I’m not there


I had beautiful dreams

I had friends, brothers, sisters, sweet parents and pink hopes…

I had green gardens, tall palms and olive trees

I had a warm winter

Blue rivers

Red flowers

I was born on land before the crossing of swords on the body

Turned into a banquet table


Before Bush and Blair turned our rivers  into blood

Then they donate us millions of tents instead of roofs for our houses


The rain has died in my homeland..

They left graves in the green  grass in our fields

Only cacti remain laughing in the barren desert

The sun has become ashamed behind the clouds

Where is God ?

Has even God became a refugee in His land ?!

Where is our ancient law?!

Even this been stolen?!


No choice

I crossed the seas of death

Waves of grief have led me here

To the land of my usurpers in an old and narrow shelter


No job

no identification

no dignity.


The victim cannot judge its executioner


I now speak in two languages, but I have forgotten in which one I used to dream


I have learned all the words to take

the lexicon apart for one noun’s sake,

The compound I must make:



No choice I came here


I’m here

but I’m not here


You are a refugee and

Your choice is not your choice


But remember…

I’m human

I’m human




Malka Al-Haddad is an Iraqi poet, academic and defender of Human Rights and has lived in Britain since 2012. She is a member of the Union of Iraqi Writers and was one of the first delegates to the US for the Iraqi & American reconciliation project. She is an activist with Leicester Civil Rights Movement: https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/profile/malka-al-haddad and has presented her academic paper Political Changes and their Impact on Iraqi Women at LSE in 2015 https://brismes2015.wordpress.com/panel-5d-politics-gender-and-nostalgia-in-contemporary-iraq/

4 thoughts on “I’m human by Malka Al-Haddad

  1. Pingback: Launch of Birds without Sky – Poems from Exile

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