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Double-Edged Tongues: The Limits of Language in a Border-Strewn World

Updated: May 12


A shopkeeper speaking with a customer in Erbil's Grand Bazaar | Image provided by Rudaw
A shopkeeper speaking with a customer in Erbil's Grand Bazaar | Image provided by Rudaw

In 2019, I received a diagnosis of an autoimmune condition known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), a condition I’d never heard of before. Upon returning home from the hospital, I immediately called my brother, who is a biologist, and tearfully shared the news with him. I was overwhelmed. He showed concern for me, taking the time to carefully explain how my immune system was attacking my own body, specifically targeting my colon, before adding, “Be thankful that it’s not your nervous system or your heart.”

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