I come from a country of broken rules, arbitrary rules. A country where guards break into homes and demand answers to the most private matters, questions like, What is your relation to this man? What is your relation to this woman? Are you married?
A country of unsolicited interrogations.
A country unfair to women, unfair to men, a country unfair to the youth. A country of crushed dreams. A country where women are not allowed to sing. Did you know a woman's voice is sinister? Did you know her voice tempts men to commit sin? Like the sirens in Odysseus, women are always committing sin, always the temptress, always the victim of unjust sexism.
But I came to this country 15 years ago and I heard grandiose stories of freedom, unlimited freedom, freedom of speech, freedom to choose how I am governed, freedom to voice my opinion. Freedom to sing. I am grateful but...
This freedom is not as I imagined, not as I heard it. This freedom is racist and sexist. This freedom is tainted. This freedom is taking a man's breath away. This freedom is killing men and boys. This freedom is killing unarmed youth. This freedom is deciding it is okay to let a man go free after he takes another's breath away by force. This freedom is arresting the voices of disappointment, of anger, fear, pain. This freedom is the sound of sirens on the streets, on the bridges, sirens and voices, and words...
Words that need no sound to be heard.
This freedom is reminding me of the very place I left.
This freedom is breaking my heart.