Some of the most iconic images of the American invasion and occupation of Iraq showed American soldiers giving out candies and other treats to crowds of seemingly jubilant Iraqi children. Often, these images were the only depictions of Iraq’s young people presented on popular media, at least in the West.
But what has life during this war really been like for these children?
We interviewed a young man in August who spoke about his experiences living through the U.S. invasion and the occupation that followed. Now 19 years old and living with his family in the United States, he was 12 years old when the bombs started falling on his native Baghdad.
His stories of that time are fascinating, especially those involving his interactions with U.S. troops. He stood by his terrified mother as soldiers stormed into their house in the middle of the night. He watched an old man being violently subdued in the street. And he, too, was offered candy, though his reaction–given all he had seen and lived through–was anything but jubilant.
Click on the play button below to hear the edited podcast of his interview:
Click here for a full archive of our podcasts.