This issue was difficult to get out – much like a root planted in an arid topography; unable to be nourished enough to break through a dried-out layer of earth. But, eventually it rained.

Determined, fluffy clouds broke the heat, pushed by the strength of a community that was adamant to get the next issue out.

This is the nature of independent media outlets like this. On some days, we will be bountiful, inspired by the world around on us, and on other days, that same world will be unbearably heavy to carry. In many ways, the struggle to bring this latest issue out to our audiences was the perfect backdrop for the theme we are covering this time around – roots.

Being uprooted is never geographic. It’s waking up in a place you never thought you would live in, or even worse, living on a street you no longer recognize. As Iraqis, whether we are in the diaspora or not, we are all in search of roots. Not because we don’t know where we came from, but because we always question where we belong. We are all children of refugees, either internally displaced, or forced to go beyond the confines of our homes in search of new ones. And that constant dialogue between us and the ground we stand on forms a critical part of our identity.

Our contributors, Iraqi creatives from around the world, dig deep into this part of what makes us who we are. They ask about the meaning of roots, their importance, and whether they are attainable at all.

The issue was edited by Luna Issa and Ahmed Habib, with graphics provided by Arwa Al Damerji.

Until next issue, thank you.