Between fiction and reality

What can we see when we imagine the Middle East—and Iraq—300 years in the future?

28 April 2021

Illustration by Rami Khoury
Khadija Al-Saadi

Khadija Al-Saadi is an Iraqi writer living in France. She has published a number of books and poetry collections, including Flowers of Dawn, On Love, Alienation and Other Things and Short Stories.

Translated by: Madeline Edwards

This reflection is part of SyriaUntold’s week-long collaboration with Ecologìas del Futuro on science fiction and imagining the future in the MENA region. We asked writers, artists, journalists and filmmakers from different countries across the region to send us short audio messages or reflections on the future and their relationship with it.

Scroll down to listen to this piece in its original audio format.

Fiction is a certain reality that contributes to change and transformation—what I think about, I work on. Ideas are free and roam different worlds. 

Science fiction is accessible to anyone who thinks about it in depth, calmly and methodically. After thinking, the images come, and then answers. True, the obstacles are many. But by traversing them with thought, we can counter them and create a dream. 

An Arabic speaker thinks in the same way as a speaker of any other language. The important thing is what to think about and why. 

I reach out to the distant future with a passion for knowledge. I think about it often. I imagine it and see it differently based on science, knowledge and dialogue with others, and with distant cosmic civilizations. 

I see the Middle East and North Africa of 300 years from now with a different perspective. The region will be better off than it is now, and my country, Iraq, will be a sight to behold. After all, it is the very cradle of human civilization. 

Listen to Khadija Al-Saadi’s original audio recording:

SyriaUntold · بين الواقع والخيال - خديجة السعدي

Related Content

Science fiction in MENA: An artistic tool for change

26 April 2021
How it is possible to think about the future, and not only in dystopian terms, when one already lives under repressive authoritarian regimes, in a war or under occupation?
Humans were created to triumph

27 April 2021
Contrary to the writings of different religions and myths, I don’t imagine that the end of the world will be through some catastrophe, a pandemic or the hell of some...
‘Palmyra syndrome’: What are Syrians allowed to speak about amid war and revolution?

02 April 2021
The cultural clash in the aftermath of Palmyra’s 2015 destruction not only revealed the Western-centric outlook of many foreign Syria observers, but it also, perhaps more quietly, shed light on...
From Aleppo to Beirut, cities burning

26 February 2021
At the onset of the revolution, Syrians gave roses to their killers, in the hope of convincing them that we wanted to build a nation and a country. The Lebanese...

This work is under a Creative Commons license. Attribution: Non commercial - ShareAlike 4.0. International license

Illustation by Dima Nechawi Graphic Design by Hesham Asaad