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

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ara Khajador - IRAQ's Communist Party

Ara Khajador
by Wafaa' Al-Natheema
Ara Khajador was born in Baghdad on September 8, 1924. He attended the Armenian School of Baghdad, which then had only elementary and middle levels. At that time, this school was not affiliated with the Ministry of Education. Armenians (including Ara) studied their subjects in English and Armenian languages while Arabic was treated as a special language since the school’s curriculum was independent from the the country’s schooling criteria. For his middle school, Ara attended the American school. While he was in middle school, WWII began.The citizenship of Ara’s father was Russian, therefore Ara and siblings were not allowed to hold government positions or serve in the army. His choice to attend the American school was affected by those factors. Since studying was in English language, this allowed him the opportunity to work in oil companies.During his youthful years, Ara underwent communist training in Moscow, which included the study of economics, history, philosophy and the art of political organization. He joined the communist party in 1941 (before leaving to the Soviet Union). In 1943, the Iraqi Armenian Communist Party was formed. Ara was imprisoned on February 8, 1949 immediately after the hanging of Fahad, the leader of the communist party at that time. His imprisonment term was for life and he spent it at the Salman Camp Prison (nougrat as-Salman) and later was moved to Kut prison, in which Mr. Khajador and other prisoners dug a tunnel and escaped from prison. Eleven prisoners (including Ara) escaped in 1952 through this tunnel. Among them were the late Hameed Othman, the late Mahdi Hameed, Aziz al-Haj, Othman Faris, Sultan Mulla Ali and Omar Ali al-Sheikh. Shortly they were caught again and imprisoned in Salman prison. After refraining from food to protest their condition in this infamous prison, they were transferred to the Baqooba Prison in 1954.Following the July 14 revolution in 1958, nearly all prisoners were released except him. During my phone interview with Khajador, he recalled the generosity of people at the Baqooba-Diyala district while in prison. He stated that they used to bring him daily breakfast filling the trays with qaymar (Iraqi thick cream), syrup, kahee (layered filo), tea and other goodies.Two months after the release of other prisoners, Ara was released. Immediately, he began his political activities with the communist party while working in oil refineries. He left for Moscow in 1962, and returned in the early 1964 disguised in a wig and lived in hiding during the term of president Abdul Salam Aref (1963-1966)and part of Abdul Rahman Aref’s presidency (1966-1968). In 1967, he was imprisoned again at the Nugrat As-Salman prison for eleven months. He was finally released in 1968 during the Baath-presidency of Ahmed Hasan al-Bakr. He continued his communist activities during the Baath-alBakr regime and was sent by IRAQ’s communist party with Karim Ahmed (from the city of Arbil) to Hungry.During the 1980s, he hid in northern IRAQ. Finally he left IRAQ in 1989 and did not return to it since. He lived in Damascus and Beirut and then settled in Prague, the Czech Republic.The first time I learned about Ara Khajador was when I read his superb article on Armenian Genocide. In my phone interview, we did not have time to talk about details, but briefly he cautioned Armenians (and other minorities) to be very careful and avoid collaborating with the industrial west because the latter’s objectives have always been for their personal gains and to satisfy their own agendas.On the surprising and disgraceful shift of Iraqi communists post the USA invasion of IRAQ (in 2003), Ara stated that all collaborators have not been patriotic and they are in it for their personal gains. He continued in Arabic what translates to “communism is a patriotic and class struggle. Not everyone claims to be a communist is a true communist. We are not Europe where there is a class struggle, ours is a nationalistic and patriotic fight.”About the status quo in IRAQ, Ara concluded that “all the patriotic forces must unite and adopt armed, political and peaceful resistance. The unity of all members of resistance is a must to evict the occupiers along with their bases. Get out of IRAQ”
The phone interview with Ara Khajador was conducted by Wafaa’ Al-Natheema in Arabic and was translated by her to English. Excerpts from the interview can be heard at this Youtube link http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=9TlZsl7oi5U with photos by Ara and his colleagues.

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