Women and War: A First-Hand Perspective
Women and War: A First-Hand Perspective
At the Chicago-Kent College of Law, Dr. Rashad Zayadan spoke about the situation in
â€œWe do not want the war to continue,â€ Zayadan said. â€œThe Iraqi people still suffering and this will not end until all of the good people with hand-in-hand trying hard because itâ€™s just not suffering for my people but suffering for your people.â€
Zayadan is a pharmacist in
The National Lawyers Guild has a history of examining the rights of the
The thrust of Zayadanâ€™s lecture was a slide presentation with the preface: â€œWhat the words can not say might be cleared by pictures. This is a story of a country â€“ my country
There were civil buildings bombed and ashes lined the streets. One man, who lost his entire family, stood in front of the rubble of his house. He had burns on his chest. There were pictures of vegetable markets in rubble and streets filled with fire. When a bomb drops on a house, building or public square, cars, water, gas and electricity goes along with it. â€œWe hear about smart bomb but we do not see it,â€ Zayadan added.
Since the war the telecommunications network of landlines was destroyed, so for the most part, Iraqis depend on cellular phones for communication. However, wireless communication is expensive and most Iraqi families are large. As a result, they cannot afford cellular phone bills.
One photograph showed women carrying water in pots and buckets on their heads. They have to travel long distances for water while managing their households and children. The Iraqi men are busy looking for work to feed their families. There are approximately 1,200 Iraqi women in prison. Sometimes they are kept in prison because US forces want their husbands or fathers. Iraqi men feel it is their duty to help release the women in their families. Most of the men will turn themselves to get the women out - even if he is innocent.
History has shown that war and violence will use love between people as weapons.
Some of the photographs showed
Yet, the photos became more graphic. Burned in my memory is the photo of the
There were several photos of Iraqi men, groups of men sitting on the floor with their wrists tied behind their backs or in front of their heads on the ground. Some of the men were half-naked and with hoods (some with their shirts) over their heads. One man had a rice bag on his head.
Several photos show Iraqi families living in tents from the UNHCR. The families sleep on pillows and blankets on the dirt ground. They live in these tents during the hot summer months and throughout the cold, desert nights of winter. In Fallujah, one-third of the families lost their homes, house made of stone that took families a long time to build. In a matter of seconds these homes became rubble and human loss. Photos show men screaming into the air. They lost their families and their lives have been destroyed. In fact a couple of Iraqi women who were part of the delegation lost their families also. While traveling to the
In Fallujah what used to be an open place for sports is now an open field of tombstones.
For readers interested in additional reading material for extended context that was a lecture topic at the conference, here is an article I wrote about counter-recruitment in the US.
For readers who want to know why they have not seen war coverage described above should check out film reviews about the mediaand who controls US media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
When I thought I had seen the most graphic photos more images followed. Nothing is worse than seeing burned children, armless children, eyeless children, legless children on their backs and in so much pain they cannot cry. Zayadan worked in hospitals where people suffer from the effects of Depleted Uranium (DU). Most of the hospitals in
During her tour in the
When the invasion began, Zayadan sold her private pharmacy so she could devote her time to the womenâ€™s organization Knowledge for Iraqi Women Society. The Arabic word â€œAl Maarefaâ€ means â€œknowledge.â€ Al-Maarefa is an Islamic-based, humanitarian and womenâ€™s life organization. They provide medical, social, educational, and clinical care for Iraqi orphans, widows and families. They give people food, clothing and tents; they train women for professions involving sewing and computers; and they provide family loans for small business development.
Zayadan said she hopes the right bridge will be built between
Global Exchange and Code Pink sponsored the tour.
-Journalist Sonia Nettnin writes about social, political, economic, and cultural issues. Her focus is the