Sunday, February 18, 2007

The women of Iraq

The war turns gender roles on its head.

In Iraq:
We were asked to send the next of kin to whom the remains of my nephew, killed on Monday in a horrific explosion downtown, can be handed over. The young men of the family, as was customary, rose to go.

“NO!” cried his mother. “Isn’t my son enough?? Must we lose more of our youth?? You know there are unknowns who wait at the Morgue to either kill or kidnap the men who dare reach its doors. I will go.”

So we went, his mum, his other aunt and I.

I was praying all the way there.

I never thought a day would come when it was the women of the family, who would be safer on the roads.

Read the rest of it at Inside Iraq

There really isn't anything that I can say that hasn't been said before, and said better. But with the mess in Iraq now, it's hard to remember that the other conservative Arab nations were worried about Iraq, not for Saddam, but because Iraq looked and behaved a lot like America - wealthy, modern, and moderately secular.

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