Iraq’s children I guess are like all children in that they are amazingly resilient. For many, war is all they have ever known; it’s a state of normalcy for them. Their parents and relatives tell them stories of times of peace and tranquility but for most they’re simply fairy tales that they go to bed with. Peace is as unimaginable as Never Never Land.
The children go about their business of growing up. They ride their bikes between the concrete blast walls, if they’re lucky enough they walk to and from school, and the evenings are passed with soccer games played in the dirt lot. Their eyes are bright and they smile and shout; heroes are made during the dusty games; prized team shirts are thread-worn from use. It is all so normal for them.
The children carry their own peace with them. Their worlds are small; maybe they’re kept that way so that they cannot be invaded by the violence that surrounds them. I cringe at the fact that one day, no matter how isolated, their childhood will crumble, likely in a most painful and vicious way.