We would like to let you know about an exciting opportunity for you to increase the impact and media attention for your March 18-19 anti-war events. CODEPINK will be bringing a delegation of Iraqi women to the US for March 8, International Women’s Day, as part of the Women Say No to War campaign. Some of these women are available to stay on for the anti-war protests marking the anniversary of the war.
These are all wonderful and courageous women (bios are provided below). They can speak at events to build momentum for March 18th, or at the big anti-war rallies, as well as other events you might set up for them. It is a rare occasion that we get to hear directly from Iraqis themselves, especially women. They can talk firsthand about the effects of the war on their lives and the lives of ordinary Iraqis. Some have lost loved ones in this war, some are doctors or humanitarian workers who have witnessed the ravages of war. All ardently oppose the presence of U.S. troops.
These women have had to risk their lives getting to Jordan to request visas, and they take great risks just by coming to the U.S. to speak out against the occupation. So we are very grateful and honored that they will be with us. As they told us when they decided to come, “It is worth the risks because the only people who can stop this war are the American people.”
The women will either travel alone, or if they are not English-speaking, they will be paired with an English-speaking Iraqi woman. We are asking local hosts to pay for their domestic roundtrip travel from Washington DC, and provide for their housing, food and local transportation. We also encourage local groups to try to fundraise $1,000 to help cover the costs of bringing these women to the US and to support their work in Iraq. To donate towards this effort, click here.
If you are interested in coordinating an event, please contact tour organizer June Brashares at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415-255-7296 x 253.
Bios of Iraqi Women’s Delegation:
1) Nadje Al-Ali is a writer/researcher specializing in women in the Middle East. She is a founding member of Act Together: Women’s Action on Iraq and mother of a 3-year-old daughter.
2) Faiza Al-Araji is a civil engineer, a blogger (afamilyinbaghdad.blogspot.com), a religious Shia with a Sunni husband, and a mother of three. After one son was recently held as a political prisoner by the Ministry of the Interior, the family fled to Jordan.
3) Souad Al-Jazairy –Writer, journalist and TV producer, Souad is a very active member in the Iraqi Women's League. At the last minute Souad is not able to be with us because of urgent work she has been called to do in regarding the Constitution and ensuring better rights for women. We are sorry but we hope that she can come to the U.S. in the near future when she has more time.
4) Eman Ahmad Khamas is a human rights advocate who has documented abuses by the occupation forces. She is a member of Women’s Will, and is married with two daughters.
5) Dr Entisar Mohammad Ariabi, a pharmacist at the Yarmook Teaching Hospital in Baghdad, has documented the deteriorating health system. She is.married with 5 children
6) Vivian Salim Mati is a widow who lost her husband and three children when they were fired on by U.S. tank fire as they attempted to flee the bombing of their neighborhood in Baghdad in April 2003 .We are sorry that her visa application was denied by the U.S. government. As a result she will not be able to join us for March 8 activities.
7) Kadhim Jawad (Anwar) is a widow whose husband and three children were killed by US soldiers at an unmarked checkpoint. We are sorry that her visa application was denied by the U.S. government. As a result she will not be able to join us for March 8 activities.
8) Dr. Rashad Zidan, a pharmacist, works in Baghdad and Fallujah with Women and Knowledge Society to aid victims of war, especially orphans.
9) Sureya Sayadi, a Kurdish woman born in Kirkuk in 1960, is an activist for human rights in the Middle East, particularly for the Kurdish people. Her family participated in the uprising against Saddam in 1974, then became refugees in Iran. Sueya later came to the United States as political refugee, but her family is dispersed in Iraq, Iran and Turkey.