By Laith Al-Kinani
In the midst of the 1991 Shi’a rebellion against the government of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Salwa and her newborn daughter Maryam narrowly escape a massacre in their village. Twenty years later, Maryam has grown to call this distant country home and her mother has hidden the events of her past from her. When Maryam’s ethereal friend Qaraqoz visits her imagination to uncover the truths about her history, Maryam must decide whether to keep the past in the past, or break into the most poignant realities of her humanity. This piece asks us to think about the inner innocence that exists in all humans. Who is allowed to be innocent? Who is tasked with telling the ugly truth? How do we face the worst parts of us?