Thursday, 7 December 2017

Help AMAR build a Christmas future for Iraq

This Christmas please put a little love in your heart, for the people of Iraq and the outstanding efforts of the AMAR Foundation

The reasons I'm supporting AMAR this Christmas, is because for 25 years, they have been on the front line inside of Iraq. 

Their remarkable work has witnessed the construction of essential services, that will benefit entire communities for decades to come. 

In May, I was even thrilled to run the 2017 Manchester 10K for AMAR's work in Iraq and it doesn't matter what you give because every festive penny counts. 

Please call 0207 799 2217 and donate today. Your gift to AMAR, will help them build a Christmas future for the people of Iraq. 

Hussein Al-alak is the editor of Iraq Solidarity News (Al-Thawra)

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

On Iraq, points of clarity for Emmanuel Macron

It is felt Emmanuel Macron should consider the foundations in to why the PMU was established in Iraq, after his call to have Iraq's Popular Mobilisation Units disbanded at the weekend. 

Just one factor for the PMU's formation was the large number of French Jihadists, who were known by the authorities of France, to be travelling freely to Iraq and Syria, to swell the ranks of ISIS. 

According to the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism in 2016: the “overall number of radicalised French nationals or residents involved in jihadist networks but not necessarily having travelled to Syria [and] Iraq is estimated to be close to 2000.” 

In a 2013 interview with Jacques Beres, the co-founder of Medecins Sans Frontieres spoke of two French brothers, injured fighting against the Syrian army, who described the Toulouse and Montauban killer Mohammed Merah, as being a “real hero” who “was an example to follow". 

The Toulouse and Montauban shootings were a series of attacks committed by Al-Qaeda affiliate Mohammed Merah in 2012, who targeted French Muslim soldiers, children and a teacher from a Jewish school in the cities of Montauban and Toulouse, in the Midi-Pyrénées region of France. 

It is worth readers noting, that both fundraising and affiliation to the so-called Islamic State, was only made illegal across the European Union in 2014 and ISIS was only proscribed a terrorist organisation across the EU, after the invasion of Mosul. 

Hussein Al-alak is the editor of Iraq Solidarity News (Al-Thawra)

Friday, 1 December 2017

Baghdad art and echoes of the past

This striking picture was created at the Baghdad based College of Arts. Invoking the words of Britain's General George Keppel, this picture echoes the Iraqi boatmen he encountered along the Tigris and Euphrates. With their "shaggy beards" they resembled "modern day Hercules", with striking features that echoed the "deities of Ancient Greece and Rome".

UK to Iraq Christmas Appeal for the AMAR Foundation

Throughout December, I would like you to join Iraq Solidarity News (Al-Thawra) in celebration of an Iraqi Christmas. Iraq Solidarity are inviting readers to make a festive donation, to assist the work of the AMAR Foundation. 

For 25 years, the British based AMAR Foundation has been on the front line inside of Iraq and has supported the Iraqi people, by sharing AMAR's long term vision for Iraq. 

The AMAR Foundation has a unique perspective, where through the construction of schools, health centres and by providing career based training, AMAR is giving people the freedom to look beyond their current circumstances and aspire to a dignified future. 

Your festive donation will also help AMAR to provide child care facilities and specialist support to young people, who have suffered physical and emotional abuse at the hands of religious extremists. 

To see how you can get involved with our Christmas Appeal for the AMAR Foundation, please click here.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

AMAR's maternity hospital will give new life to Iraq

What may look like a construction site, is now rapidly becoming a maternity and paediatric hospital. Being constructed by the UK based AMAR Foundation, this new hospital will open next June and will be the only one of it’s kind in the whole of the Shat Al Arab region. 

According to AMAR's Robert Cole, the hospital is located "In an area of Iraq with appalling infant mortality rates" and having direct access to medical facilities, will ultimately save the lives of both mother and child. 

According to Maternity Worldwide, "Figures from the World Health Organisation show, maternal haemorrhage was the third most likely cause of death for women in low income countries, accounting for 58,000 deaths". The construction of AMAR's new hospital, will help play a role in reversing these numbers.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Australia's Iraqi Community Protest Proposed Law

In Australia, a vigil organised by the Iraqi Democratic Current gathered outside of the Iraqi Embassy, in protest to the proposed changes in Iraqi law, which if passed by the Parliament, would see the age of marriage lowered from 18 to 9 years of age. 

Whilst at the Embassy, a petition and letter from the Iraqi community in Australia, was also given to Embassy staff, which stated the community's objections to the plans of the Parliament, to lower the age of marriage. 

Iraqi Australians are a community whose population is estimated to be as high as 80,000 people. Australia's Iraqi community includes Arabs, Kurds, Assyrians, Armenians, Mandeans, Turkmens and Jews.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Democracy Vs ISIS in Iraq's legal bid for child marriage

Iraq first introduced its Personal Status Law in 1959, when under the Government of Abdul Karim Qassim (1958-1963), it was made law, that a woman was allowed to marry at the age of 18 years. 

Throughout the rule of Saddam Hussain (1979-2003), the legal age of marriage remained at age 18, despite his other policies, which have been descried as "oppressive" to women. 

Under the rule of the Islamic State (2014-2017), in Iraq reports have emerged of girls as young as 9, being forced to marry Islamic State fighters of various nationalities.

Under the rule of Democracy in Iraq (2003-present) the Parliament is wanting to revise the law, to lower the age of marriage from 18 down to 9. 

If Iraq makes these changes in its law, this will mean that Iraqi Democracy will share the same legal age for marriage, as the terrorist organisation known as the Islamic State.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

The Russian Revolution and the rights of Iraqi women

As people remember 100 years since the Russian Revolution, in Iraq, the October Revolution impacted Naziha Dulaimi, who was born in 1923 and who died in 2007. 

Naziha was a pioneer of the Iraqi feminist movement, was the first president of the Iraqi Women’s League and the first female Government minister in Iraq’s modern history, along with the being the first female cabinet member in the Arab world. 

In 1948, she became a member of the Iraqi Communist Party and in 1959 was central to Iraq gaining the Personal Status Law, which was declared in the wake of Iraq’s 1958 revolution. 

The Personal Status Law, which still remains, restricts child marriages by setting the legal age of marriage at 18 years, bans forced marriages and restricts polygamy. 

It curtails men’s prerogatives in divorce, expands women’s rights in divorce, extends child custody to mothers, and improves inheritance rights for women. 

It remains one of the most liberal laws in the Arab world with respect to women’s rights and by eliminating the differential treatment of Sunnis and Shiites under the law, it does not differentiate between all religious communities and sustains coexistence. 

During her government career, Dulaimi was also instrumental in turning vast slums in eastern Baghdad into housing projects and after the Baathist Military Coup in 1963, Naziha was the first Iraqi woman to address Britain’s Members of Parliament.