I was neither born nor bred in this country. I don’t have Ivy League credentials. Unlike elitists and pundits informed as much by cocktail parties as they are by polls and studies, I’m informed by blood, kin, and culture.
I was born in Baghdad to Christian parents who emigrated the old-fashioned way—legally—and for an old-fashioned reason: The treatment of Christians, like my family, by Muslims in the surrounding culture.
I cry at the “Star Spangled Banner,” and I cry when my naturalized home wages war against my birth home. I am an American. I am also Iraqi, and a Moslawii down to my dialect and my cooking. Such is the existential reality of first-generation immigrants: The “both/and” tension of two civilizations within one self, the wistful desire for one identity, one culture, one homeland, one whole and integral worldview. I hope, at the seasoned age of 46, I have wisdom to share with you, my beloved Americans.
This would be a good time to stop talking about immigrants as if we are children. That’s my first suggestion. American politicians, professors, and pundits who have never lived under a dictator in their life, were raised within a Western heritage and education system, and learned foreign policy and political philosophy ideas in the West pontificate about what is best in the Middle East and for middle easterners.
Read the rest of the essay at The Federalist