#Iraq - "The killed my father"..... In 2005, while covering parts of western #Baghdad and the airport road, I heard a volley of bullets and then saw two police cars speed by. Arriving at the scene, I found a man lying dead in an empty street, and a little girl sitting cross-legged, staring at him, her clothes blood-soaked, crying “They killed my father.” Her name was Ahdaf, and she was 7.

When she saw me, she became terrified and started to cry, thinking I was the killer. I thought of my baby daughter, and I imagined she would do the same thing if I was killed, and I started to cry as well.

Then the dead man’s wife arrived, weeping and shouting “You killed him!” I tried to calm her down, telling her I was a journalist who had nothing to do with the killing. I had the feeling that we were being watched by the insurgents. Some people were looking at me from a nearby house. After the body was taken by the police, I was stopped by a man asking if I was related to the dead man and wanting to know why I was crying. I sensed that the man was from al-Qaida. He told me to leave.

I have been back a half-dozen times to visit the family, trying to help put them in touch with a humanitarian organization which saw my photos and wanted to help resettle the family in a safe area. The wife said she would rather use the aid to buy sheep and cattle to earn money for food. On my last visit, in September 2005, a woman told me that I was being watched by al-Qaida people, and I should leave immediately because they would come and kill me. She was very worried.

Each time I visited this family, I used to kiss my sleeping children before leaving the house, knowing that this could be the last time I see them, and my children could be in the same situation as the girl I photographed.

My impression at that time was that the dead man represented Iraq which was dying and the little girl represented a generation that would be haunted by memories of killing and blood. I hope the coming generation will show tolerance and love to each other. It is only with tolerance and love that Iraq can be revived again; with hatred, Iraq can’t move one step forward. 
Hadi Mizban.