10/26/2006 01:01 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Between Two Worlds

As the daughter of Saddam Hussein's pilot, as someone who grew seeing him and calling him "uncle," Saddam has been my demon for most of my life. Everything about me was associated to him. My family's home in Iraq was referred to as the pilot's home, the street I lived in was referred as the pilot's street, the car I drove was referred to as the car of the pilot's daughter and worse of all, I was always referred to as the pilot's daughter. When I arrived to the United States, I was determined to start a new life and not to tell anybody about my past. I was convinced that if anybody knew that I knew Saddam Hussein, my face will disintegrate and his face will take over... I was convinced that everything about me: my beliefs, my values, my accomplishments, and my hope will disappear and all what people will see is Saddam Hussein and his crimes.

It took me a long time and the process of writing my memoir Between Two Worlds to realize that I owned my fear. For the longest time, I thought fear as an external thing that imposed itself on me. Only recently and through the process of writing my memoir, did I realized that I owned my fear, I nurtured it, I fed it, I even was comfortable with it. And only by acknowledging that, was I able to defeat it. I never thought I had a responsibility for maintaining my fear. Only when I realized that I owned it, I was able to free myself from it. Only then when taking responsibility for my fear was I able to find my freedom.