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London, England

London, England

Ever since I was a teenager, I have been cynical about political demonstrations, not only in Iraq, my home country, but also in Britain, my adopted country, as I feel the system is so rigged – overtly or covertly – that demonstrations simply help to legitimise it by implying that it is fair, open and democratic. But in February 2003, I was so angry and bitter about the impending American and British war on Iraq, yet I also felt a sense of helplessness to do anything about it. So when my wife (who is herself an American) said she is going to London to demonstrate against the war on Iraq, I decided to go also despite my misgivings about the value of such demonstrations. And so I rented a mini bus and invited a dozen friends and university colleagues to join me and my family to go to London and be part of the demonstration on 15th February 2003. The experience of that day has left a profound and indelible mark on my psyche. And though, alas, I remain cynical to this day, I do feel a sense of deep pride when I now tell my grand children that I, too, was in London on that day.