Sunday, July 31, 2005

Sunday reading

From PYM.....from Iraq
Personal Stories
Art Helps Amal to Survive
“There have been eight bombings in my neighborhood of Karrada,” Amal laments. “I watched a man shot dead and another wounded by police as they ran from their bomb-laden car. People were running and screaming. I tried to run but my legs wouldn’t work. You can’t imagine this moment. I prayed to God. The police ran to the nearby school and told the teachers about the bomb and ordered them to remove the children from the building. It was like a movie.”

I first met Amal nearly eight years ago, when she was pregnant with her second child and struggling through the deprivation of economic sanctions against the Hussein regime. As a teacher, she was earning about $3 per month.
Pushed out of work by politics

See Amal's paintings
“I have a Bachelor's degree in economics and taught mathematics, English, and economics in secondary school since 1985,” she explains. “Three years ago my boss told me I had to retire. I had three young children at home and couldn’t afford to quit after working for only 15 years. I was told the regime had become suspicious of me and so I had no choice but to leave teaching. I looked, but I couldn’t find a new job [under Saddam]. And now, there is no work in Baghdad. I survive on my painting. I began drawing when I was eight years old.”
Amal shares family photos.

Amal’s home is in the Red Zone on Abu Nawas Street, which borders the Tigris River, across from the U.S.-controlled Green Zone.

[Editor’s note: According to “Baghdad's Green Zone, home to thousands of U.S., British and other coalition officials, as well as the headquarters of the U.S. military and the interim Iraqi government, was set up as an impregnable fortress against the mayhem outside. In the beginning, the "Green" stood for healthy, protected, ready-to-go. Everything outside was dubbed the "Red Zone"—unhealthy, dangerous, best not to go.”]
In fact, there is no safe haven in Iraq any more, as the Green Zone increasingly comes under attack by insurgents and other anti-American forces.
Defying Saddam----the rest of this story, and others

Read also--The Hidden Cost of War and the AFSC news in context


Anonymous ThomH said...

Very moving human story and great link. What kills me is the kid playing the video game. They only want things to be normal -- and for reasons I still don't understand, we're making their lives worse than it was under Saddam.

12:42 AM  

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