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 5, 2010

CBC News - World - The continuing plight of Iraq's refugees

Last Updated: Friday, July 16, 2010 | 3:01 PM ET Comments20Recommend15

Zakiya is sitting in the modest living room of her rented two-bedroom apartment in Jaramana, a small neighbourhood on the outskirts of Damascus that has become known as "Little Baghdad" for its high concentration of Iraqi refugees.

The 44-year-old mother of three likes to skim through her photo albums from time to time and remember her old life in the now battered Iraqi capital.

Zakiya, an Iraqi refugee in Syria, shows her UN certificate, which allows her a stipend of about $200 a month. (Oussayma Canbarieh/CBC)Zakiya, an Iraqi refugee in Syria, shows her UN certificate, which allows her a stipend of about $200 a month. (Oussayma Canbarieh/CBC)

As she shows off the family pictures from before the war, she suddenly starts sobbing.

"Look at me here, I used to be happy," she says. "Now, I've lost it all."

Before the Americans and their allies invaded Iraq in March 2003, Zakiya was working as a journalist in Baghdad and her husband had a gold business.

But since the war, she lost her home and many of her loved ones.

"First, two of my daughters were killed and, a couple of months ago, my husband went back to Baghdad to get us some of our savings and he never came back."

Zakiya now takes care of her three remaining children, Huda, 12, and nine-year-old twins Hassan and Noor.

She lives off her savings and receives a food basket as well as a $200 monthly cheque from the UN's refugee agency.

Guests of a sort

Zakiya's situation is far from unique. The U.S.-led war has created millions of Iraqi refugees who have tried to escape the ensuing violence by seeking new lives across the Middle East and, in some cases, Europe and North America.

By some estimates, nearly five million Iraqis have been displaced by the war, a figure that is said to represent nearly 40 per cent of the country's former middle class.

Because of Syria's geographic proximity — and a welcoming policy — the majority have settled here, almost 1.1 million by the latest estimate.

Since there are no refugee camps in Syria per se, settlers are mainly concentrated in two low-rent suburbs of Damascus: Jaramana and Sayeda Zainab.

Most of these new arrivals have been living off their savings. But, as time went by, their bank accounts have been drying up and they have come to face the classic refugee squeeze: As refugees, they are not allowed to work in the country, but if they don't work, they can't make ends meet.

The result is that many have no choice but to work illegally at low-paying jobs, while those who are well off have opened up businesses that cater specifically to the growing Iraqi community in Jaramana.

"Competition is fierce among transportation services that offer bus rides from Damascus to Baghdad," says 35-year-old Karim, who would know as he is in this business himself.

Zakiya is a regular customer at the famous Qassim restaurant in Jaramana, which is where many Iraqis like to gather once a day over lunch, a water pipe or a game of cards.

"I feel a sense of comfort hearing familiar accents and reminiscing of life in Baghdad over a cup of tea," she says.

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