Thursday, July 30, 2009

Out of place.

From Mississauga,

There are not enough colors bursting through the large window panes of the apartment to describe the ways in which I detest this city.

Built on stolen land, and governed by thieves, Canada's fifth largest city  is no more than a showcase for settler colonialism and international dominance.

It is a land that gave me refuge from the destruction of Iraq, and offered me, through anemic government programs, the support that I needed to build my life. However, even such a remarkable transaction of dignity for dollars fails to capture the enormity of our losses, before we came here. 

Refugees turned settlers, we are slowly cookie-cut, under the constance of humming, mind numbing, lamps. We watch our homes destroyed on greasy television sets. We eat our minds away in empty parking lots, sparking shots in the dark. Here, we are truly nothing.

There is a mall in this city. In fact, it is larger than the city itself. Neon lights from its operations are powerful enough to ensure a steady dose of much needed sunlight, and secure a healthy attendance at all festivities. Throughout the day, hundreds of thousands of people crawl through the marble castle, picking up prepackaged parts of their identity along the way.

There is little public space here. Plazas, or strip malls, and strip clubs, compete with fast food chains for any land left over by real estate developers. From this condominium to the next, opulent opportunists work constantly to live happily and neglect to wipe the blood off the streets. Instead of renewal and reparations, there are immigration offices and police stations. 

Over policed, and under my foot, the City of Mississauga, my home for the last seventeen years, is a violent and grotesque product of our greed and racism. As such, it will never be my home.

Thirty and almost awake, Ahmed.


  1. Hmmm. So let me get this straight: you hate the place that took you in, saved you from Hell, and handed you free money to get you started there? Regardless of how shallow the local culture might be, your criticisms reek deeply of entitlement. What gives you the right, exactly?

  2. You have the right. The US government purposely escalated violence in Iraq and Iran during the war in the late 80's/early 90's, selling arms to both sides and funding Saddam Hussein's politics. America created Saddam Hussein and then punished the Iraqi people with a hostile invasion during this decade. We, the US, did not have the right to use people, kill people, and destroy the land. May the Iraqi people have the strength to endure until they are free of Western interference.


    Sweet Jane Says