Ep 3: State of War – Reality Check

We heard an exploration of what a “state of war” is from three incredible experts. Now, we want to check in with survivors of conflict. In this extended version of interviews, Zoheb Mashiur and Katrina Coles gain deeper insight into the lives of three men who have lived it.

Zaid Mahmood – Born in Bagdad, raised in Mosul, Zaid is an artist who made the difficult decision to leave a home which made it impossible to pursue the life he wanted. This also meant separation from his family. Before 2003, he remembers a military mindset so present, that as a child normalised violence and became a key theme of his artwork. After the fall of Sadam Hussein in the 2003 American-led invasion of Iraq, “one bully turned into countless bullies,” especially as ISIS took over. Zaid is currently the bandleader at Refugees got Talent, an organisation aimed at giving refugees in Belgium a creative voice.

Daniel López – Born in Bogotá, Daniel loves Colombia and adores his hometown. Daniel describes life in his home country, mirred in a decades long conflict over drugs, as an accepted chaos where the pressure is constant. Trapped in an endless class struggle, he is politically active and determined to understand the complexity of this life. Daniel is currently pursuing his PhD at the Brussels School of International Studies.

Nanar Hawach – From Homs, Syria, as the uprising against Basar Al-Assad took hold, he recalls how things escalated quickly. Within a matter of months, Nanar understood war had broken out in Homs. Peaceful protests turned violent and dishonest reporting signififed that life was changing from one with a positive future to one filled with uncertainty and violence. For Nanar,  it became important to write down the names of the lives that were lost. Nanar, a BSIS graduate, is pursuing a PhD at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB).

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