TADHAMUN تـضـامـن

Tadhamun (solidarity) is an Iraqi women organization, standing by Iraqi women's struggle against sectarian politics in Iraq. Fighting for equal citizenship across ethnicities and religions, for human rights, and gender equality.

جمعية تضامن تدعم المساواة في المواطنة بغض النظر عن الأنتماء الأثني أو الديني وتسعى من أجل العدالة الأجتماعية و حماية حقوق الأنسان في العراق

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Praying, Not Playing

Inter Press Service

DAMASCUS, May 19 (IPS) -

In the struggle now just to stay alive, everyone has forgotten that Iraq has lost, among other things, its tradition in sports. Some of its best sportsmen are now refugees.
"No one seems to care about us," 20-year-old footballer Ali Rubai'i told IPS. Ali fled Iraq with his family to Syria like countless other young Iraqis. The young from Iraq, born after 1980, have grown up amidst three major wars, 13 years of strangling economic sanctions, and now five years of occupation.

Through all this some still manage to keep up with sports. But it has begun to seem to many others like an indulgence.
"I was one of the best soccer players in Anbar province, and my coach expected the brightest future for me," Ayid Humood from Ramadi, 100 km west of Baghdad, told IPS in Damascus. "I struggled to keep my training together with my work as a construction labourer, but then I had to give up playing because work brought survival for the family."
"Despite the Iraq-Iran war of the eighties, and the UN sanctions later, there was some support for sports and youth in Iraq," a senior member of the Iraqi Olympics Committee told IPS on condition of anonymity on telephone from Baghdad. "Iraq produced many Olympic teams and stars because of the organised system that was founded in the early days of the Iraqi state. It got worse during the UN sanctions, and then the very worst came with the U.S. occupation in 2003."
"Most of our stadiums and playing grounds have been converted into U.S. and Iraqi military bases," Waleed Khalid of the Ramadi Sports Club who fled to Damascus with his family told IPS. "Our Ramadi stadium is now used as a U.S. military base, and we were deprived of playing official games. Gradually we stopped training, given the chaos brought by the U.S. military operations in our city."
Khalid added, "I do not think there will be any future for any Ramadi player any more."

In Fallujah a football stadium was turned into a graveyard through the April 2004 U.S. siege when people could not find any other place to bury their dead. According to doctors at Fallujah General Hospital IPS interviewed after that siege, 736 people were killed, more than 60 percent of them civilians. The football stadium is now known as the Fallujah Martyrs Graveyard.
The al-Sumood stadium in Fallujah was closed down for conversion into a private hospital, a general hospital and a market.
Some of the damage has been done by Iraqis themselves.
"A country that is led by clerics who think sports are forbidden could never have any progress," Adil Hamza, a sports teacher at a Baghdad high school who fled to Syria told IPS. "Our sports stars are all abroad now looking for their personal future. Soccer clubs in Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, and Iran signed contracts with the best Iraqi soccer players and coaches, while most Iraqi clubs cannot afford to pay the simplest salaries to their players."
Many religious leaders in Iraq now forbid sports, and even the wearing of shorts.

The al-Karkh Club in western Baghdad was closed down when militias began killing all the young men they could find in early 2006. "I came to Syria looking for a chance to play after our club was closed," Huthayfa, who was a member of the club told IPS. "Now I am going back to Fallujah where my family fled to, I have given up hope of any future in soccer."
Still, not everyone has. Syrian authorities have set aside a soccer stadium in Baghdad for Iraqi youth.
The al-Nidhal stadium draws hundreds of Iraqi youngsters.
"It was so generous of our Syrian brothers to gift us such a good place," said Ibrahim Mahmood. "But our problem is much bigger than just finding a place for practice.

We need to make our future as soccer players, and that needs huge assets and international support."
( Maki al-Nazzal, our correspondent in Syria, works in close collaboration with Dahr Jamail, our U.S.-based specialist writer on Iraq who has reported from the region for more than four years.)

Petition sign and circulate:

Release Iraqi women hostages, victims of terrorism themselves

بعيدا عن الوطن؛ حراك التضامن مع الوطن فنا، شعرا وكتابةً
Away from Home; Memory, Art and women solidarity: you are invited to an evening of poetry and music 22/3/2017 18:30 at P21 Gallery London click here for more details
Public meeting at The Bolivar Hall, London Sat.14/5/2016 at 15:00 IDPs : Fragmentation of Cultural and National Identity


Protest the suffering of Iraqi Christians: No to terrorism No to state terrorism.Hands off our minorities. Hands off our people. Shame on the human rights violators on all sides. Assemble 11:30 on 28/7/14 near Parliament Square, near Westminister tube station London. For more past events click here


Useful links

Halt All Executions! Abolish The Death Penalty!

We women of Tadhamun condemn the persisting practice of arbitrary arrests by the Iraqi security forces. We condemn their arrests of women in lieu of their men folk. These are 'inherited' practices. We are alarmed by credible media reports of the Green Zone government’s intentions of executing hundreds of Iraqi men and women.

For more info click here

Professor Zaineb Al Bahrani of Columbia University NY speaking at a our meeting on the destruction/damage to historical sites in Iraq

On youtube: Part1
Part 3
One more video:

Human Rights Watch: No woman is Safe


Articles published on this site do not necessarily reflect the opinion of WSIUI or its members

المقالات المنشورة على هذا الموقع لا تعكس بالضرورة آراء منظمتنا أو أعضاء منظمتنا

Samarra Minrate built in 852 AD

Samarra Minrate built in 852 AD
Building of 1 500 massive police station !
From the angle of the photo, it is possible to calculate that the complex is being built at E 396388 N 3785995 (UTM Zone 38 North) or Lat. 34.209760° Long. 43.875325°, to the west of the Malwiya (Spiral Minaret), and behind the Spiral Cafe.
While the point itself may not have more than Abbasid houses under the ground, it is adjacent to the palace of Sur Isa, the remains of which can be seen in the photo. While the initial construction might or might not touch the palace, accompanying activities will certainly spread over it.Sur Isa can be identified with the palace of al-Burj, built by the
Abbasid Caliph al-Mutawakkil, probably in 852-3 (Northedge, Historical Topography of Samarra, pp 125-127, 240). The palace is said to have cost 33 million dirhams, and was luxurious. Details are given by al-Shabushti, Kitab al-Diyarat.
Samarra was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO at the end of June. The barracks could easily have been built elsewhere, off the archaeological site.--
Alastair Northedge Professeur d'Art et d'Archeologie Islamiques UFR d'Art et d'Archeologie
Universite de Paris I (Pantheon-Sorbonne) 3, rue Michelet, 75006 Paris
tel. 01 53 73 71 08 telecopie : 01 53 73 71 13 Email :
Alastair.Northedge@univ-paris1.fr ou anorthedge@wanadoo.fr