The personal story of the engineer Haider Tahseen, a volunteer in the “We Build Hope” joint project between TEDxBaghdad and Al-Ta’awan Charity Association

His message: Why am I here … I used to feel alienated in a my home country, I felt as though I was walking against the natural flow of things, and the problem was that that flow was opposing me really hard , Thankfully, that flow was not able to change the man I was born and raised to be… I had believed that the right path is clear like the sun in midday , that the situation will change and that God will have his way, at the same time, I’d seen a lot of people around me being careless and having no sense of responsibility what so ever … My dreams were falling apart one by one, whenever I used to see someone litter in the middle of a street, a Palm tree in desperate need of watering on the streets of Baghdad or a simple worker exhausted by everyday’s tasks, trying to provide a decent living for his family … I hadn’t stood by motionless gazing at my fallen dreams, I used to bend down to pick them up again, I had arguments with people whom I witnessed litter, watered the thirsty Palm trees and had the wearied worker rest underneath their shadow, I felt that my efforts were an attempt at fulfilling my duties towards God, my community and my country …. It all started when I went to the Cooperation Charity Association, carrying with me a few blankets that were to be given away to those who were in need of them but were not able to afford them, I wanted to be part of helping those who were in serious need of those blankets, it was all initiated by a simple announcement posted on a Facebook page by fifteen young men and women planning on gathering at the headquarters of the Association, through which, the idea of forming a team of volunteers that will aid in providing roofs for families harmed by the rain, needy families and orphans, was launched. You can only imagine the overwhelming joy and happiness that consumed me then, compared to how I felt seeing the hungry Palm trees and the orphans in my country, there are no words that can describe how I felt as I saw the smiles on their faces, their faces can only be described as canvases of hope, I’m a happy happy happy man today.

Translated and edited by: Asma Falah – TEDxBaghdad Blogger

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