Lifestyle & Belief

10 Years After the Invasion, One Iraqi Struggles With His Identity

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U.S. Marine Corp Assaultman Kirk Dalrymple watches as a statue of Iraq's President Saddam Hussein falls in central Baghdad April 9, 2003. U.S. troops pulled down a 20-foot (six
metre) high statue of President Saddam Hussein in central Baghdad on Wednesday and Iraqis danced on it in contempt for the man who ruled them with an iron grip for 24 years. In scenes reminiscent of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Iraqis earlier took a sledgehammer to the marble plinth under the statue of Saddam. Youths had placed a noose around the statue's neck and attached the rope to a U.S. armoured recovery vehicle. PP03040026 Pictures of the month April 2003 REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic Pictures of the Year 2003 PP04020111 AS/DMO - RTRLMS1

Credit:

Reuters

A decade ago, just after the start of the war, a young Iraqi named Nechirban Yousif decided to go home.

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This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.

He'd been living in Britain after fleeing Saddam Hussein's regime in 1998 but his family remained in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul and he wanted to visit them.

Yousif has spent the past 10 years going back and forth between Britain and Iraq many times.

He says the war has changed many things including how he identifies himself.

"I'm Sunni, Kurdish," Yousif says. "When I come in 1998 [to Britain] they asked me are you Sunni or Shiite. I didn't know what means Sunni or Shiite. You didn't hear in Iraq he was Sunni or Shiite or Arabic…Iraqi is Iraqi."

Anchor Marco Werman spoke more with Yousif about his struggles with his Iraqi identity.