1995, age 18
I'm on a bus staring at the ocean as I go over the Harbour Bridge, the sun's reflection on the water is nothing like I have ever seen before. Boats crossing the ocean give me many memories; I look away, and see tall skyscrapers everywhere, buildings towering over me, shadowing me from the sun's bright light. I look up at the beams above and my eyes follow the girders. I can see the Australian flag above me and I know from this moment everything is going to be alright.
Baghdad, Iraq, 1st Gulf War
1991, age 14
An explosion rocked the street, glass shattered everywhere, I was assaulted with a blast of hot smoke, I was blown off my feet and shielded myself as splinters of glass rained over me. My ears were ringing, people were running away full of screams that I could not hear.
I could already see bodies along the streets covered with blood and cuts from the debris of the blast.
Immediately my thoughts went to my father, I called for him, but no response. I screamed my loudest but my voice was lost under the other screaming women and children. I saw my father about ten metres away from me, I screamed his name and just as he was turning towards me another explosion erupted from a car bomb. I saw my father slip away from me once again as I flew back into a shop's window, luckily the glass had already been broken from the first bomb. I laid down in a ball sheltering myself crying, hoping this was all a dream, waiting for me to wake up. I was wondering how my country could kill their own people intending to kill the Americans? How could any person want...