The following is an archived copy of a message sent to the CASI Analysis List run by Cambridge Solidarity with Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of Cambridge Solidarity with Iraq (CASI).
[Main archive index/search] [List information] [CASI Homepage]
[ This message has been sent to you via the CASI-analysis mailing list ] [ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] Childhood snatched away by the embargo and now even more eroded by 'liberation'. Is there any shame in Washington or Whitehall ... f. Iraqi Children Pay the Price of "Freedom" Iraqi children are paying the price for the occupation. By Saleh Amer, IOL Correspondent MOSU, February 22, 2005 (IslamOnline.net) Almost two years after the US-led forces occupied Iraq, the children of the northern city of Mosul have united in grief and need, working around the clock to help provide for their one-time well-to-do families, who are now living below the poverty line. ³I have dropped out of school and Iım now selling plastic bags in the cityıs market to make ends meet,² eight-year-old Jamal Mohammad told IslamOnline.net Tuesday, February 22. Jamalıs father was an army officer, but he has not returned home since the US-le invasion-turned-occupation of the Arab country. ³I have become the breadwinner of my four-member family and I have to work hard for them. There is no time to play,² Jamal added as he was in a tearing hurry. Hassan Omar, 11, is selling fuel with his younger brother at double the regular price at fuel stations. ³Every day, my brother and I rotationally buy fuel from stations and sell them at sidewalks,² said Omar whose father and elder brother were detained by US occupation troops seven months ago. Hassan Ali, 10, is no better than the others. He is forced to work as mechanicıs apprentice in Al-Karama industrial district. ³My father was shot dead by US occupation forces one year ago and I have no other option but to work at this workshop for fixing cars,² Ali told IOL after an exhausting 14-hour workday. Phenomenon The backbreaking work has indeed put years on Jamal and his fellow children, who have become a phenomenon in post-invasion Iraqi society, paying the silent cost of the US-led occupation. Thousands of children have to labor at the crack of dawn every day to provide for their destitute families, IOL correspondent says. The children can no longer enjoy themselves, leaving the playgrounds and schools for traffic jams and workshops working as apprentices. ³Such stressful work will make them go prematurely grey,² said Mowafak Al-Weisi, professor of sociology in Mosul University, told IOL. ³They further pick up disastrous habits like smoking and addiction, not to mention some bad manners.² Weisi also said those children are exploited by their employers as they are poorly paid. ³When they grow up, they will try to vent their childhood complexes on other children and become preoccupied with one and only thing; namely, how to make money.² A report by British NGO Medact revealed in November that Iraqis will feel the brunt of the US-British invasion for years and ³maybe generations² to come with the ³alarming deterioration² of the health care system in the war-ravaged country. The Iraqi health ministry warned in November that acute malnutrition among Iraqi children has nearly doubled since the US invaded the country in March 2003. The United Nations children's fund (UNICEF) had warned that the number of children who suffer from diarrhea, Iraq's number one killer of infants, has more than doubled under occupation. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Please feel free to contact News editor at: Englishnews@islam-online.net _______________________________________ Sent via the CASI-analysis mailing list To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-analysis All postings are archived on CASI's website at http://www.casi.org.uk