BaghdadIraqRefugeeWhat We Carried

Dinner Plate, Baghdad, Iraq

Jim Lommasson
Jim Lommasson / What We Carried

Susan Birwary:

We ate on this plate since childhood and on every holiday until 2005, when I left to go to the south of Iraq, then to Syria, and then to Chicago. Can you believe how many times this plate has traveled, from the areas of Iraq, to other Arab regions, then to America!! This plate reminds me of my precious mother… When I felt danger threaten my life, and the life of my family, I took some clothes and put them in bags, then I went to the kitchen and took this plate that always reminds me of my mother, when she used to cook biryani and served it to us during holidays in Iraq. Whenever I see it, I remember the holidays in our house and how beautiful they were, and how they carried the real meaning of holidays. I remember every Christmas when I see this plate, and I remember my sisters, brothers, and the beautiful, safe days we spent in our home in Iraq. I couldn’t abandon this plate and leave… I wanted something that reminds me of my mother and my home…