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[casi] Inspiring women of Iraq

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In a message dated 11/12/03 07:11:50 GMT Standard Time,

Dear fellow human beings:

Even though I was just in a car accident (only car damage, we are OK),
I really had to write my impressions about something else and send it
tonight.  I had the privilege and was awed to listen to two of the most
compassionate human beings.  Amal Al-Khederi and Nermin Al-Mufti are
two Iraqi mothers and two people whom everyone should listen to.  I
urge you to go to their talks (see their schedule at ).

Amal founded a craft center in Baghdad.  The center was destroyed in
the first Gulf war and then after being rebuilt was destroyed again in
this latest ongoing war.  Nermin is a renouned journalist who trained
to write of civil society and its functions but found herself covering
the destruction of Iraqi civil society by US led wars and sanctions
over the past 13 years.  They spoke with unusual candor and passion
about the reality of what Iraqis are going through.   They spoke of how
a country that is one of the wealthiest and most civilized was taken
apart and maligned.  They spoke of how the wealth of the country was
destroyed and looted especially since the US occupation forces arrived
and previously by the US led sanctions that killed hundreds of
thousands and destroyed a whole generation.

They spoke poignantly of how the US soldiers, responsible under Geneva
accords for protection of civilians under occupation watched,
encouraged, and sometimes participated in the dismantling of the whole
governmental and civic structures. They spoke of how the rulers from
abroad have now become "a thousand Saddams" living in palaces and using
far worse techniques than he did except when he was being supported by
the US in the 1980s and American advisors were all over the country.
Some of the current rulers are Americans (e.g. "King Bremer") and some
are unprincipled corrupt men who have left Iraq a long time ago and who
have no real understanding let alone connection to Iraqi society.

Nermin and Amal spoke of the "dissapeared" Iraqis, hundreds and
thousands taken by the occupation forces that no one can find what is
happening to them let alone where they are.  They spoke of how Iraq,
the country that give us the alphabet, the math, the laws, and
essentially civilization is now ruled essentially by mobs.  The lies
and distortions of the occupation which no one believes create
surrealistic atmosphere.  Amal asks what is to become of a child
drafted to mouth on TV that schools are rebuilt by the USA and what is
to become of the people who can see the PR since thousands of schools
were destroyed and looted and a cosmetic painting is being done to the
remaining few walls.  How is this different from TV PR during the time
of Saddam.

I urge you to again to see if you can hear those two wonderful women
speak and spread the word (website ).

Mazin Qumsiyeh

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