Its very hard to live in a war zone, facing terrorism on a daily base. However, it is way harder to live in that war zone while believing in secularism and freethinking values, as if you hold a heavy weight of thoughts in your mind while you go out every day to face the struggle of life that won't count on you as a part of an equation in the society.
This was the daily life that I used to face, while I was living my last days in Baghdad before I had the chance to leave the country and start over again in another place.
Hitchens was the eye opener for me, his speeches opened my mind and created a big storm inside my head to understand and think in a realistic way.
Discovering new dimensions, releasing the " middle eastern " mindset that we forced to accept it as a matter of one choice to live and to think, controlled by the majority over the minority who did not fit in that static society.
His speeches and other freethinkers on youtube that I used to share secretly with other friends who share the same way of thinking were the joy of those dark days.
In fact; being in that vulnerable position made me go stronger toward learning, absorbing the way of thinking without barriers, putting religion, tribalism, the static cultural background, behind my mind and thoughts and think forward toward an emancipation from the shackles.
Today, on 15th December 2016, I am writing this short article as a tribute to one of most public figures that have been a big influence on me during my Journey.
From my past in Baghdad going to this day, I say that this influence made me the kind of person that reached a level of emancipation to create my version of the way of thinking that doesn't have to follow an ideology. Nor right, nor left and above all, empowering logic and skepticism as the primary base for logic, research, and fact to be the original weight to say in a loud and clear voice, the harsh truth.
So for that reason, I called my first book " Emancipation, an insurgent thought that broke its shackles."
Thanks and cheers Christopher Hitchens, the pioneer of freethinking.
We are missing you.