A suicide bomb in Iraq today has killed more than 100 people in one of the deadliest attacks since the war began. It couldn’t have happened at a more critical time. Just as a new and democratically elected government is taking shape, and drafts of a constitution are scribbled out, Iraqis are being encouraged to look ahead, to consider what it means to be an Iraqi in today’s world.
For one man, that task starts with remembering and cataloguing all the abuses of the past. The former exile, and writer and scholar Kanan Makiya believes that the people need to see clearly where they were, in order to prepare for their future. He is collecting what he calls Iraq’s sacred texts — government records that document murder and torture under Saddam Hussein. The place of history in securing the future of a people.
Kanan Makiya, founder of The Iraq Memory Foundation and Professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, Brandeis University.