Sunshine, 17, Talks About Life in Iraq

“Sunshine” is a 17-year-old student living in Iraq. For the past few years, she’s been writing a blog called "Days of My Life." Sunshine keeps her identity secret for safety reasons. That's her mirror, pictured, with encouraging notes stuck to it. We were lucky enough to snag a quick interview. I Heart Daily: Why did you start a blog? When did you start? Sunshine: I started my blog in order to tell the world the truth about what's happening here in Iraq, and to show that Iraqis are just like other people around the world. I wanted to express my feelings and opinions, and have friends to share my shiny and cloudy days.

IHD: Do you like living in the Iraq? What do you like or dislike about it? S: I like the nature of the north, I like the Iraqi culture, the food, the dance, the folklore clothes, especially the Kurdish women's dresses. But I hate the situation in Iraq now; I don't like to see destruction, I don't like the sound of explosions, nor shooting -- I hate what the terrorists are doing now, threatening and killing in the name of religion. I hate the feeling of fear, I hate to see my relatives leaving Iraq.

IHD: What was your life like before the Iraq war? S: Well, it was calm, without complications. It was safe. I didn't worry about my relatives and family members when they went out, I had a normal life: picnics, parties, we used to go to markets and restaurants and come home after midnight. I felt safe and secure. I miss that feeling, I’ve started to forget that feeling.

IHD: What makes you happy these days? S: When I listen to music, when I receive comments and letters, when it's raining, when I cook, when I look at a photo album and remember things... a lot of things make me happy, even very small things can change my day and make it bright.

Check out Sunshine’s blog for detailed posts, emotional insights and a general portrait of life in Iraq for one 17-year-old girl who’s still dreaming of a better world. Her latest post -- on unfair grading based on whether students are Sunni or Shiite -- is not to be missed. Don’t forget to leave a comment and make her smile.