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My name is Ahmed. I was born in Iraq. I had a beautiful life until the Iraqi Revolution. I was only 16 years old. My life changed in a minute because revolutionaries fought against us since my father worked for Saddam. They took me as a hostage for 3 days and demanded ransom in 2006. My father borrowed a loan to save me. Thus I had a chance to continue living. In 2009, I graduated from high school, after that, in 2012, I graduated from Business College. However, I had to leave Iraq. Revolutionaries followed me though. In 2014 during Ramadan, I went to Istanbul and I decided to live there. I decided that because İstanbul was comfortable to live in for a Sunni like me. But I had to return to Baghdad because of issues of my visa. In 2015, I worked in Baghdad with my brothers. The revolutionaries pursued me again and, they also threatened me. I remember the time when 3 engineers from Turkey were abducted. The same abductors tried to kill me as well. The pressure on me was too much and I could not take it anymore, so, I decided to leave my home, my country, and my family. Finally, I went to the USA with a student visa, but my visa would expire after 2 months. I had to stay illegally in the USA even though I didn’t have a visa.

I lived there as a refugee. When I was in Turkey, everything was easier for me because Turkish people were so helpful and kind to me. It was very peaceful, but in the USA, it was just the opposite way around. Especially in the first year. I didn’t know how to communicate in English, I had no money, friends or a family. I had nothing. What I was going to do? I had no answer to my questions. At times, I slept in parks, at times I stayed with my friends from Iraq. I had a cousin there but, I didn’t see him often. One day, my friend’s girlfriend told me that there was an English school giving free lessons. After learning English, things became easier for me. I found a good job, became an Uber driver and, I got a car. I am living in Chicago for 2 years now. When I was a child, we were rich. I got what I wanted and my family was with me. Yes, I have a good life now but, it was not easy at all. I missed my country, my friends, my family, and I missed my
mother at most! I did nothing to people but the revolutionaries tried and wanted to kill me. I was abducted… tortured… Although I did nothing to them. Saddam was the president of my country and people loved him. My father was just a worker. I was only a child. I did nothing yet now I am away from home. I pray, our world will have peace as soon as possible.