By Ahmad al-Rubaie.
Fantasy Buffer Zone: Baghdad Youths Plan ‘Mini-Iraq’ the Way it Should Be
For many educated young Iraqis, there’s no escaping the grim realities of daily life: unemployment, violence, religious conflict. Which is why one group is campaigning to create a concrete-walled buffer zone where they would be free of all of that; they want the perfect mini-Iraq inside Baghdad.
“I am an Iraqi and I demand a buffer zone”. This is the name of a new campaign launched by a group of young Iraqis on Facebook on August 28. It may sound confusing at first but what the young campaigners are asking for is a United Nations-sponsored buffer zone, where they will be safe, free from violence and political or religious trauma and able to live in relative safety and prosperity.
Basically what we want is a kind of an Iraq within an Iraq, Wissam Hassan, the founder of the campaign, told NIQASH. The idea came to him and his friends when they were talking about how desperate they were to get out of Iraq. “We didn’t think we could seek asylum,” he explains. “So we decided that our only option was to establish a country inside our own country.”
Even over the first four days, the campaign has struck a chord. It already has over 429 supporters on Facebook, most of them university students or graduates in Baghdad. They have all confirmed their commitment to building a mini-Iraq and the campaign organizers are hoping to get a million Iraqis to undersign the initiative eventually.
Computer engineer Alaa-Edin Sabah is one of the campaign’s supporters. “A lot of young people dream about getting out of Iraq,” the twenty-something says. “But most of us will never be able to do that. But we still want to live a decent life and feel respected. That’s why we’re supporting this campaign.”