Saturday, December 02, 2006

Voices of Iraq: Iraq-Women ( Feature)

Aswataliraq had a feature in Arabic today about Iraqi women and how the war started by the Americans against the Iraqi people affects women. I went to the mosque and telephoned them and they told me it would be in English later. Here it is:

Iraq-Women ( Feature) :: Aswat al Iraq :: Aswat al Iraq:
Voices of Iraq: Iraq-Women ( Feature)
Posted by: saleem on Saturday, December 02, 2006 - 01:24 PM
Iraq-Women ( Feature)
Iraqi women fear involvement in civil war
By Maha Muhammad

Baghdad, Dec 2, (VOI) – Amidst bombings followed by shootings in the capital Baghdad and while Iraqis confine themselves within their homes, fear-haunted Iraqi women keep on wondering whether it is a civil war.
Iraqi women were left to bear most of the burdens of wars afflicting their country and cost them a dear price.
They had some optimism about a breakthrough looming in the horizon, but they were dead wrong. Matters grew more dangerous and more complicated that many now believe the symptoms of civil war are taking their toll on an already moribund Iraq.
"We never imagined that the situation would be so tough. When I was watching news about the civil war in Lebanon on TV, I wondered how the people of one nation fight one another. Unfortunately, we are now standing at the doorstep of a civil war, if it is not burning us already," Ms. Maryam Yassin, an employee in the dissolved ministry of information, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI).
Ms. Sumaya Khaled who recently lost a son in clashes in western Baghdad, said in a poignant voice "my eldest son was killed in the Iran war and I lost my second son Naji in clashes that erupted in our neighborhood."
Naji was killed by a stray bullet while he was passing by.
"Do the parties involved in fighting recognize how many innocents foot the bill?" Ms. Khaled said, wondering "for how long the innocent Iraqis will remain the prime losers in wars they have nothing to do with."
Ms. Sajida Khudhayr, retired headmistress of a school for girls, said "this war had been flagrantly pre-planned."
"The (civil) war, which had started with the Samarra incidents ( where two Shiite shrines were blown up in February), will burn everything in its way unless we do something. As time goes by, we would be able to see the magnitude of the humanitarian crisis that is going to be caused by this war," Ms. Khudhayr said.
She said the Iraqis are teetering on the edge of a bottomless pit and if they failed to save themselves, there would be no hope left for them.
"Neither the occupation forces nor the Iraqi forces, which up to their ears in internal disputes, would save the Iraqis," Ms. Khudhayr added.
She wondered whether it was best for the Iraqis to leave their homes for other areas due to sectarian reasons, or whether they should leave the country altogether.
For 70-year-old Um Uqail, leaving the war-scarred Arab nation would be a brilliant idea in these circumstances.
"The past days were so hard. I was ready to sell whatever I own just to get my children out to any neighboring country. They actually went to Syria," said Um Uqail with a touch of sadness overwhelming her wrinkled face.
"Iraqi women were doomed to continue experiencing injustice as if what they have already been through was not enough. Now they have to live with the loss of their boys or girls in wars we are ashamed to call sectarian," the sad Iraqi mother complained.
"When we had to fight in the past, we were defending our lands and honor, but today we would be fighting ourselves in a fiery war that is going to leave no one safe.
Huda al-Shawi, a feminist who opted for fleeing the strife-stricken country for neighboring Jordan, told VOI by telephone from Amman that matters were going from bad to worse.
"I am scared of all that is happening. Our life in Iraq is anything but possible, particularly in certain hot friction points. No day passes without scores of harmless Iraqi fatalities. After my father was killed late last year while he was returning to Baghdad, I had no option but to leave Iraq," Shawi said.
"I am not the only one who feels so scared," Shawi added.


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