NIQASH: You left Iraq in a hurry and you left everything behind. You stayed away 30 years and now you’ve came back to contribute to a project which serves the public interest. Do you have a message which you want to relay to the Iraqi people?
Al-Birmani: Homelands cannot be built by governments. It is the people who build them and they put their governments there to serve them.
It is for this reason that I pray that the Iraqi people become aware of their responsibility towards their country; they should participate in its construction. Iraqis can participate and improve things without depending on the government.
It is true that the Iraqi people have suffered a lot but the suffering of the Norwegian people or other nations hit by disasters and wars are not trivial or easy either. There were cities in Norway and other European countries which were completely destroyed. Those people did not stand idle after the end of the war.
Each citizen joined hands and efforts with his neighbour and colleague, even if they were enemies before the war, and they began to build their country together, taking a path to heal wounds, building a momentum and forgetting their own personal and factional interests. We must also reject the culture of indifference because we are all responsible for what is happening in our country.