When I say, My Iraq or My Germany or My Costa Rica, I mean exactly that. I do not mean Iraq, Germany and Costa Rica of all Iraqis, Germans or Costa Ricans. I mean my homelands, countries that are in many ways different; they are my versions, my intimate homelands. They may have many features in common with Iraq, Germany and Costa Rica as known to others, but they also have many features that are only to be found in my version of these countries. My homelands exist physically. They are the countries of millions of people. But for me, they also exist virtually, in my memory and through my intimate relation to them. Thus my homelands have a dual existence. While I share with others the public versions of my homelands, I am the sole person who has the key to the personal and virtual versions. As I write and speak of them and incorporate them in my poetry, I share my personal and virtual version and experience with others. By making my version available to others, I hope to enrich their experience and knowledge of my homelands. Thus I expand my homelands beyond their physical boundaries and the conventional knowledge about them.

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