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From Jordan - Committee starts solidarity drive to help Iraq


Committee starts solidarity drive to help Iraq 
Oula Al Farawati (Jordan Times, 19 December 1999)

AMMAN  The National Jordanian Committee for the Defence of Iraq has begun a 
campaign in solidarity with Iraq, Rajai Naffa', deputy head of the committee 
for governorates' affairs said on Saturday. The campaign started on Dec. 12 
and will continue until Jan. 17 (the day the allied forces launched attacks 
on Iraq in 1991 following its invasion of Kuwait the previous summer). The 
several activities of the drive include a national campaign to collect one 
million pencils for the children of Iraq. "We've chosen a pencil to 
symbolise the need to lift the unfair embargo on Iraq," Naffa' said. "The 
kind of help is not our main concern, we did not collect food or medical aid 
because Iraq has refused this kind of help expressing their need to have the 
sanctions lifted rather than temporary help," he added. Boxes to collect the 
pencils will be placed in Amman and other cities at various institutional 
locations, such as at political party headquarters, social, community or 
sports clubs like Baqa'a and Wihdat, and at newspapers like Al Ra'i and Al 
Dustour who have already voiced readiness to support the campaign. 

The organisers said they would place posters around the Kingdom asking 
people to contribute pencils to the initiative. The committee also plans to 
collect 100,000 signatures on an appeal that will be presented to the Lower 
House speaker asking the deputies to apply the recommendations of the 
Emergency Arab Parliamentary Union session held in Amman in 1998 and which 
recommended lifting the U.S.-led embargo on Iraq. "We will present another 
appeal to Arab leaders asking them to hold an urgent comprehensive summit. 
In addition, we plan to organise a motorcade to the Iraqi borders to deliver 
the million pencils," Naffa' said. 

The committee plans to invite a prominent Arab intellectual to give several 
talks in Amman and other governorates on the effects of nearly a decade of 
sanctions on Iraq and the importance of strengthening the public effort to 
lift the embargo. It is also planning to present a memorandum to the 
government asking it to apply Article 50 of U.N Charter that states if a 
country has suffered losses because of an embargo on another country, the 
former can petition the U.N to exempt it from observing the conditions of 
the embargo on the latter. "Jordan has been really hurt because of the 
embargo on Iraq, and we hope to activate that article in order to protect 
its economic interests with Iraq," Naffa' said. The committee will also hold 
related photo and film exhibitions in Amman as well as other governerates.

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