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Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

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New member

I am a British woman, with no religious affiliation.
I have just joined the discussion list, and I have already found your comments interesting and useful.
I am a nurse, I took an early retirement from my work in UK in the mid nineties, and since then I have worked as an aid worker, mostly in the Middle East, in South Lebanon during the occupation and in Yemen.  I have been shocked at the difference between what I expected to see, and what I found.   This is because until I was able to see things for myself, my only information was from the British media.  Although it is not as prejudiced as American journalism, it is rarely fair to Arabs and Arabic issues. I have lived amongst Arabs and very much enjoyed the experience, and made many friends, particularly two friends (a Palestinian and a Yemeni) whom I consider to be my sisters.  To my knowledge, I do not have any friends who are fundamentalists, and no Arab has tried to influence my views, they are just formed from what I personally have witnessed.  My way of coping with the stressful things which I witnessed was to read quality literature, and the more I read, the more I learn of the injustices against the Arab world, perpetuated by the West.
I have not been to Iraq (but I would like to visit one day) and my first introduction to injustices there was my reading following the resignation of Denis Halliday.   My heart goes out to Iraqi people.  
I am not unrealistic; I see many problems in the Arabic world, undemocratic  leadership, with poor management, and lack of respect of human rights. I personally have seen Arabic people who have suffered, sometimes extensively, because of these problems.   However, the attitude of the West in making ordinary Arabic people suffer and die in order to attempt to control the Middle East is neither acceptable, nor likely to cause any change in the problem areas in the Arab world.   Indeed, by isolating nations, and causing anger amongst Arabs focussed on the West, I believe it can exacerbate problems in the Arab world.  
I am now hoping to undertake a doctorate relating to Middle East studies, in order to help me, and others, develop better understanding.   I am sure that itt is only this way that we can promote world peace.  And this mutual understanding will be greatly assisted by groups such as this one.
Judith Brown.

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