Misconception #1: War is Everywhere
Perceptions of other places and cultures are a funny thing. When I tell Iraqi’s that I lived in Texas, without fail, they raise their hand up and pretend to shoot a gun like a cowboy. The perception is that people in Texas are always shooting at each other, like old western movies. While there have been many wars fought in Iraq, there is no ongoing war swallowing up the country. The last major battles were in July, 2017 when the Iraqi army stopped major military operations to eradicate ISIS from Mosul.
Misconception #2: Iraqi’s don’t like Americans
When I flew into Iraq and showed my passport to customs, they looked at it and said “Welcome! We love the US!” In general, Iraqi’s are extremely friendly and some of the most hospitable people on the planet!
Misconception #3: Iraq is rich because of oil
In reality, the poverty rate in Iraq 18.9% with 51% of households overcrowded, some with as many as 10 people living in one home.
Misconception #4: Iraqi’s miss Saddam Hussein
The majority of Iraqi’s are quick to say Saddam is the reason Iraq has the distinction of most of these misconceptions. Before Saddam, Iraq was a modern, artistic, cultural center in the Mid-East. Women had freedoms, education was valued and progressive, and people from around the world traveled here. With his neurotic fear of Iran, ethnic cleansing of the Kurds, and decision to invade Kuwait, Saddam alienated his country from the world.
Misconception #5: All of Iraq is very dangerous
Of course, Iraq has dangerous parts, but so does any other country.
Misconception #6: Iraq is only desert
While Southern Iraq has deserts, Northern Iraq is very mountainous. They even get snow in the wintertime!
Misconception #7: All Iraqi’s live in refugee tents or basic mud/stone homes
While many people were displaced due to ISIS and now live in tents or basic stone homes, it wasn’t always the case. Most people lived in nice houses…some even had a vaction house in the mountains!
Misconception #8: It’s hot all of the time
NPWhile it does get upwards of 110˚F during the summer, it also drops below freezing. Areas in the north even get snow during the winter!
What misconceptions are there about the place you live? Comment below and let us know!