After Nearly 9 Years of War, Too Many Widows


Andrea Bruce for The New York Times

Women at a trailer camp for widows in Baghdad celebrated a resident’s remarriage.
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Published: November 24, 2011

BAGHDAD — Noria Khalaf giggled and then, embarrassed, covered her smile with a fold of her black robes. Yes, she said, she would like to marry again. It had been four years since her husband died, and her children needed a father.

Andrea Bruce for The New York Times

Noria Khalaf, widowed in 2007, comforted one of her six children. More Photos »

Finding a good man in Baghdad these days is a challenge. Not only is nearly every trailer in this dusty government-run camp on the capital’s outskirts occupied by war widows like her, with nary a man in sight, but across Iraq women now outnumber men.

Some widows ask their brothers to bring friends by the camp, one of two packed trailer camps for widows in Baghdad. But that is not often successful.

The problem is that widows do not make appealing brides, say the women themselves and nongovernmental organizations that assist them.

“Maybe a young woman with only one or two kids can marry again,” Ms. Khalaf said with a sigh; she has six children.

Widows are not a new social problem in Iraq, of course. The war with Iran in the 1980s left tens of thousands of women widowed. Each new calamity that followed created more: the 1991 war with the United States, the failed Shiite uprising that followed, the repressions against Kurds.

And the numbers of widows in Iraq, or as American aid programs prefer to call them, “female heads of households,” increased substantially after the invasion in 2003 and in the years of violence that followed.

The Iraqi Ministry of Planning estimates that about 9 percent of the country’s women, or about 900,000, are widows. A separate government agency, the Ministry of Women, issued a statement in June putting the figure at one million.

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Yasir Ghazi contributed reporting.

This entry was posted in Illuminati/Terrorism/Corruption, Political and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to After Nearly 9 Years of War, Too Many Widows

  1. Pingback: A “Peace Dividend?” Not Likely | LA Progressive

  2. Pingback: The End of the Iraq War and the Beginning of an Election Year | Economy In Crisis

  3. mike says:

    With all that we are learning the main disclosure is who we are.We see the atrocities of these wars and what these people have caused and I know it would be impossible at this time for these Ladies to forgive us and I don’t use this term lightly because the think all Americans are responsible.They are just as ignorant as a lot of people in this country who believed the lie that took us there in the first place.A lot of people that follow this blog are starting to wake up to who they are and if that be you I would suggest we all pull together and use our power to destroy all the weapons of mass destruction and any weapon that is meant to take away life we have the power to do so.All we have to do is pass this around and pull together with one mind and declare it so.I’m not looking for revenge or what most people would call justice.I just want an end to all this suffering. I call for forgiveness put at the same time take their power away from them so this carnage will never happen again.

    • Jean says:

      Thanks, and blessings, Mike! I do believe we here are beginning to come together in this understanding. I also do believe we must have a way for us Americans, and the whole world, too, to learn the ‘real’ truth, which trials might provide, because until we are willing to look at the entire truth, I don’t think there will be healing. We can hope, however, that trials will not become a three-ring circus.

      When I was student in Austria, not too long after the war, the ‘real’ Nuremberg trials were shown at the local movie theaters. It was tough to watch the descriptive videos introduced into evidence, and many people simply couldn’t and had to leave the theater. Somehow, though, I understood this was something we had to see in order that it never happen again. Time after time, I have tried to tell those I love that only when people fully awaken will this stop – and they have refused to hear me. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has had this experience, and yet I feel those who refuse to look must have the opportunity to know the ‘real’ truth. If they choose to continue to remain in denial, that is their choice alone. Often I have felt like Eli Wiesel, who returned home from the prison camps to his village, and they refused to hear his descriptions of what was happeneing – and many went to their death because of that fact alone.

      At the very least, I think people must have the opportunity to participate in the change of conscious that will result from these trials. Dick Cheney and The Bushes, father and son, must be brought to trial – plus others, of course. They must pay some sort of penalty, so they understand to the degree they are capable of understanding, what they have done. I, however, do not believe in the death penalty, and I’m not sure in the new reality what sort of penalty might be imposed. This be something we could meditate on.

      My thoughts on this are not cast in stone. I am open, as I explore inwardly our choices to other ideas and thoughts. It’s the ‘many-hands-on-the elephant idea again.

      Love and hugs,

  4. Visionkeeper says:

    How come my website no longer comes up when the avatar is clicked? Let me put in another email address and see??? Nope….

  5. Visionkeeper says:

    I find this beneath contempt and to think this destruction was thrown onto these women, innocent women and worst of all in the name of America…All done through lies, all done for the desires of the elite. Every person responsible for this should be tried and convicted of war crimes!

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