My Voice Counts: Young Iraqi voices

My voice can! No, my voice cannot... Youth around the globe – and Iraqi youths are no exception – think day after day about what their voices can do, and what they cannot do. In December and January, UNAMI asked Iraqi youth if they have a voice, if they can express themselves, and what they can do to make their voices heard in their local communities and across the country.


Mandy Dheyab, 23, an Iraqi musician from Baghdad, said that she thinks her voice is important “because it can make a difference” in her society, while Nadia, 21, a student at Baghdad University, thinks that her voice is important because “I’m an Iraqi.”


A young carpenter from Basra city, Haitham Yousef, 20, seemed very confident when talking about his voice: “I may only be a carpenter, and maybe some think my voice is not important ... but for me, my voice is important because it can make a difference.”


Saadoon Aftan, 21, from Baghdad, said that, “Because our society is ill, I think my voice is important to help find a cure to the illness of my society.”


Others have conditions for their voices to be active and heard, like Uday Qassim, 21, from Baghdad, who thinks that his voice is important “as long as it reaches the decision-makers in this country”, and his ideas are translated into action to help rebuild Iraq.


Rand Saad, 18, a young woman who competed in Archery at the London Olympics, dreams that her voice can “get Iraq’s name all over the world and the Iraqi flag in all international championships.”


Hanin, 24, who works in IT and volunteers for an NGO in Baghdad, is aiming high. “I think my voice can achieve a lot of things,” she said. “I think I can do miracles with my voice and the most important thing is never to be pessimistic.”


“We should not despair and we should find a way to make our voices heard because our voices are important,” she stressed.


Despite the obstacles that may exist in Iraq to dreams being achieved or voices being heard, many young Iraqis believe in themselves and their voices’ importance. They believe their country is as big as the sea and that their voices are as loud as thunder.


The “My Voice Can” video project is an initiative of UNAMI’s Youth Advisory Group.


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Last modified on Wednesday, 03 April 2013 13:23


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