I am well aware of the fact that the country I am writing in doesn’t have a constitution with a first amendment in it. The same hurting fact applies to my university, because it is the “American University” but wait for it: “of Iraq-Sulaimani”. This land’s rules apply to my cabin-rich university as well.
Having nothing similar to the American first amendment doesn’t mean an Iraq with the freedoms protected is a day dream.
The Kurdish poet puts it clearly, “if the tree of freedom was not watered by blood, it won’t give fruits.” Thomas Jefferson says the same thing in different words, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." I don’t find any of them right enough to be applauded. They are wrong. The tree of freedom is never watered by blood, never.
Blood brings red armies, and freedom is absent when red armies rule! Blood brings fragile freedoms that lead to tyranny or nowhere. Blood creates Iraq, where nothing is cheaper than human blood.
So let’s find another way to maintain this right fully. Let’s speak freely! Didn’t get it? Let’s speak freely.
It is only when we speak freely that freedom of speech exists. It is only when we don’t imprison ourselves autonomously.
Swimmers are those who swim not those who talk about swimming, and free people are those who act freely not those who chat about it.
AUI-S students should start to tear down the walls in front of their freedoms made by themselves. To do this, they don’t need to gossip after the administration members in bed. We only need to be brave enough to speak.
Our free speeches will also be reliable tests for those who recite freedom verses on every occasion.
*Dana Jaf is an International Studies and Political Science sophomore at the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani.